South Carolina Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured South Carolina Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default 20% Impairment To The Spine

    I have worked for the same construction company(steel erection) for 30 years. I was injured on the job, and have had surgery. I'm currently in pain management. I have reached MMI, and have a 20% impairment to the spine (lumbar). I'm a little confused about the impairment rating. I have done a little research, and it seems that the max impairment to that area of the spine is 28%?? Is this correct?? How does this relate to a disability rating? WC has not offered a settlement yet, and I have no idea what to expect. (and I do not have a lawyer)The surgeon told me that I'm done with construction work. I am not to do any heavy lifting, very little bending, and no repetative type work. He told me that he doesn't even want me mowing my lawn. The company I have worked for is closing , and I'm not sure what to do. I imagine my employment options are severely limited now. I would appreciate any advice/opinions you guys might have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    you might want to contact the state Voc rehab agency
    http://www.scvrd.net/

    you can look at the FAQs and/or contact the ombudsman's office for more work comp information
    http://www.wcc.state.sc.us/Welcome+and+Overview/faqs/
    http://www.scvrd.net/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    Thanks for the links. I spoke with WC today, and as far as they're concerned, I'm still under a doctor's care (pain management). Since my next doctor's appt is in Feb., I guess I'll keep getting the weekly compensation at least until then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    Quote Quoting ScottMac View Post
    Thanks for the links. I spoke with WC today, and as far as they're concerned, I'm still under a doctor's care (pain management). Since my next doctor's appt is in Feb., I guess I'll keep getting the weekly compensation at least until then.
    You will keep getting your compensation weekly until you resume normal work or attend your settlement hearing. My wife received her weekly check even when she returned to work because the doctor placed a 20 hour a week restriction on her.
    Politicians should be required to wear uniforms like NASCAR wears. At least then the citizens would know who their corporate sponsors are.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    Now I'm really confused. I have a disability policy, and they are giving me a hard time about paying me. Every month they come up with a reason to deny/delay payment, and after I threaten to report them to the Department of Insurance, they always pay within a day or two. I contacted a lawyer the other day about it, and during our conversation, the subject of WC and who my pain management doctor was came up. He told me that the doctor was not a pain management doctor at all, and was just a doctor that WC sent me to, hoping that he might be able to contradict the rating that the surgeon gave me. He also said that he had a history of siding with WC, against the worker. He said that he was "very familiar" with this guy, and that I needed to come see him so that he could get me in to see a "real" pain management doctor. He thinks that WC is leading me quietly to the slaughter, hoping that I won't know any better, since I don't have a lawyer. I decided to do an internet search today, and I discovered the the doctor truly is a pain management specialist.....geez...I don't know who to trust now....I'm not sure who is trying to lead me to the slaughter...I really could use some advice, guys.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    keep your skepticism; that's your best defense.
    And keep going after information on your own.
    It's obvious the atty was telling you what he thought you wanted to hear.
    playing to your fears is the first lesson in any pitchman's guidebook.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    I have decided to go ahead and hire an atty....but NOT the one I mentioned above. The IC is coming up with a different reason every month to delay/deny payment. They're saying that their nurses have reviewed my files, and have decided that I should return to work. I work/worked construction, steel erection to be specific. I've worked at the same company for 30 years. There's no way that I should/could even get near a construction site. They're now asking that I have my surgeon fill out an evaluation sheet. He did that less than a month ago, and has assigned an impairment rating. I feel like they are just using whatever delay tactics they can, hoping I'll get fed up and just go away. Also, I'm having problems with my right leg. The surgery I had was supposed to releive the pressure on the nerve in that leg. It is considerably weaker than my left one, to the point that I have tripped and fallen several times. I can't lift it nearly as high as the left one, either. The general consensus is that this may never improve, and that it is due to nerve damage. This has been documented by the doctors and by the physical therapist, but the IC ignores that fact. Lastly, I am having trouble getting any kind of pain medication. The pain management doctor says he doesn't like to prescribe pain meds????, and since the surgeon has released me at MMI, he will no longer prescribe any. According to the surgeon, the pain I'm having is because I "have bone rubbing on bone". I spend many of my days in the recliner, on a heating pad. I've taken so many pain powders that I'm afraid they're gonna eat a hole in my belly. I can't stand up for much more than 30 mins at at time.....I feel like most everyone is just ignoring me, and hoping I'll go away(except for the attys, of course). Sorry for the long post. I guess I just needed to "air it out." This entire ordeal is really taking its toll. I never though that I'd be subjected to this kind of treatment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    GREENVILLE S.C.
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    I Feel Your Pain. I Was Injured At My Job A Year Ago. Ithas Been Almost 4monthssince I Seen My Regular Dr. Wc Wanted Two Get A Second Opinion Before They Went On With Any Further Procedures That My Regular Dr. Had Suggested. I Finally Saw Dr.#2 And He Agreed With Dr.#1 But Still Nothing Is Going On. I Have Hired An Attorney But They Are Dragging Their Feet Along With Wc. I Reallydon't Know What To Do Next. I Am In Pain All Day Every Day. Like You I Eat Tylenol Advil, Youname It .i Think Wc Is A Joke .)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 20% Impairment To The Spine

    I too am frustrated over a spine injury...I was injured on 7/4/07 at the farm I work at when I had to lift a steel crowd gate because the hydraulics had failed 8 months previous to my injury and the owner refused to fix it properly...I was sent to several dr's in the area and have had two MRIs done and the report shows a herniation in the L4/L5, L5/S1, and C7/T1....the insurance company assigned a case nurse who decided she didn't want to drive the fifty miles to the current DR and now wants me to drive 65 to get to another DR.....this DR denies the MRI report that says the L4/L5 is impinging on the nerve and now wants to do a discogram to determine the cause.....it is funny how the IC changed DRs on me immediately after recieving the other disability rating....must be they didn't like what he had to say......I now have a lawyer and have no intention of allowing the dicsogram to take place.......the MRI which is the gold standard is enough .....the IC is just trying to get their DR to give me a lower rating......they don't like the fact that the DR I was seeing was completely out of their control......

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