Kansas Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Kansas Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    11

    Default Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    After doing some tests 3 months ago I was diagnosed with moderate CTS. The doctor said this will be covered by workmans comp.
    I called human resources where I am employed and she told me I'm eligible to be paid half of my wage for up to 13 weeks while I'm off due to surgery and recovery after 1 week waiting period.
    I told her what the doctor said about workman's comp covering it and
    she said,
    "There's no way you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome in only a year and a half with this company because it's been proven that Carpal tunnel is developed over time. You can turn it in to workman's comp but I will fight you tooth and nail."
    Then she said, "You know you really didn't get this by working for us, don't you?"
    I told her no, I guess not but it's killing me!
    I need surgery bad on my left wrist but I don't have the money to be off work for a month plus pay the bills my insurance doesn't cover.
    I don't know what to do. It's getting so painful that I know I need to do something.
    I take 100mg of B6 faithfully everyday but I can't tell that it helps any. When the pain seems unbearable on some nights I take Tylenol with codeine and I wear braces on both wrists every night.
    I'd appreciate any help that anyone can give me. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    neither employers nor employees get to decide whether a claim is accepted or not. If the carrier denies it they have to have medical evidence and you can appeal to your work comp board.
    you need to file written notification to your employer about your injury and request worker's comp benefits. You should send a copy to the work comp carrier as well.

    you should file a claim form with the work comp bureau
    http://www.dol.ks.gov/wc/html/kwc15(Rev-02-06).pdf

    for more information you might try downloading the tutorial on the state website
    http://www.dol.ks.gov/wc/html/wcinjwkr_EMP.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    Thank you. I will look at the sites you posted.
    But...I didn't have an incident that I can say I was injured. I mean, I don't have a certain date that this happened as it has hurt on and off for a few years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    Dawter, just file the WC claim. Your doctor has already established that it is indeed work related. IF the ER's or IC's doctor disagrees then you find yourself an attorney ASAP and fight like your life depends on it for WC to cover this injury.

    What ever you do Do NOT call one of those supposed law firms that advertise on TV. They are the bottom of the barrel as far as representing you is concerned. They work in quantity and sell clients short just to get at the settlement phase. Often times leaving the IW holding the bag while they make there bank deposit and run. Do your homework and get as good of an attorney as you can find. Make sure s/he is a board certified work comp specialist. Nothing less will do you justice, especially when your ER is already making noise about fighting your entitlement to WC for a documented work related injury.

    See her for a starting point. This link is compliments of our resident expert attorney from NC Mr. Bob Bollinger;

    http://www.wilg.org/index.asp

    CTS is referred to as an "accumulative trauma injury" or simply "cumulative trauma". You put your best guess for a date for the onset and let the rest work itself out.

    Having bilateral CTS with trigger fingers/thumb on both hands as well I can tell you that repetitive stress CAN and often does CAUSE and certainly DOES contribute to CTS. I had NO other contributing factors, diabetes, obesity, etc., aside from using my hand repetitively on my job.

    I LET my bully Bit** of a boss intimidate me into using my private insurance and have had years of financial woes because of it. Don't let the same thing happen to you.

    At that time I was in NO position to make waves and risk loosing my job as my husband has a very serious life threatening illness and that insurance is all we had to pay for his treatments.

    She threatened to fire me if I insisted on filing it under WC. At that time I didn't know any better than to believe that she could and get away with it. In fact she could have found any half assed or no excuse at all to fire me and get away with it.

    The good old "at will" doctrine and no union to help protect me cost me thousands of dollars out of pocket that I should NOT have had to pay. Not to mention the PPD that I forfeited as I have close to a 10-15% loss of use of both hands. That is permanent and will most likely NEVER get better. If anything it has gotten worse over the years. At this point I just have to say that I had to cut my losses and move forward the best way I can.

    My husband is way more important to me than the several thousands dollars of out of pocket expenses I have had on account of using the medical insurance vs WC.

    Thank God he now has Medicare and I have a new job working for decent and caring folks. They have NOT given me one seconds grief over the shoulder injury and having their WC IC pay for it. In fact the owner of my company told me from day one that is WHY they pay those premiums, to make sure their employees are taken care of. He also told me that he would NOT make up a position for me to work at light duty nor have me come in and sit in the office. His exact words, "We just don't play that game here. You are to stay home and get better. Call me and let me know when you are ready to come back to work". Just the opposite of my ex-ER that is for sure.

    When I do get to go back to work I will make darn good and sure that I do him proud. It sure has made dealing with this shoulder and surgery a heck of a lot easier with a decent and caring employer! Unlike that horrid wretch I worked for a few years ago!

    I have had the CT releases on both hands as well as as seven fingers and one thumb operated on for the trigger finger releases. I am now having to have the last finger done as it is locking down like there is NO tomorrow.

    Thanks to a bully supervisor I am stuck with two bummed out hands that hurt night and day. The releases helped with restoring the feeling but the pain apparently is here for a life time. I take Celebrex and it does help some but for the most part the pain never stops. Eventually you get used to it and learn to function in spite of it.

    It is very important that those impinged nerves get the pressure off of them, ASAP. If you wait too long the nerves may never be restored to normal or anywhere near normal. The longer the nerves are impinged the harder it is to get the feeling restored. You need to get on this like yesterday and IF your doctor is recommending surgery GET IT DONE!!!! ASAP!!!! The sooner you do this the better.

    Even IF you have to use your private insurance and have them put a lien on the pending WC claim do so. Your private policy can go ahead and cover it on a conditional basis. Once you have the surgery you can put all your energy into pursing the WC claim. Putting the surgery off is NOT in your best interest, that is if you want to have anywhere near a normal life in being able to continue to use your hands!

    Good luck to you Dawter take care and be well.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    Oh my goodness. This looks like it may be quite a mess to deal with. I'm reading and re-reading what you wrote. Thank you so much.
    What's that about "Even IF you have to use your private insurance and have them put a lien on the pending WC claim do so. Your private policy can go ahead and cover it on a conditional basis."
    What does this mean....put a lien on the WC claim?

    What does this stand for? "ER's or IC's"
    Last edited by Dawter; 03-01-2008 at 11:55 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    I took your advice and got what seems to be a competent attorney. My first doctor's visit is next week with a.....plastic surgeon? Why are they sending me there?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    Dawter I have NO idea why they would send you to a PS. Doesn't make much sense to me. You should probably ask them why. By the way who is sending you to this PS? The WC IC or the attorney?

    Sorry about the abbreviations and your not knowing what they mean.

    WC = Work Comp
    IC = Insurance Company
    ER = Employer of Record

    Here is a link to the thread that has most of the them;

    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...ad.php?t=31985

    Putting a lien on a WC claims would be just like putting a lien on anything else. It is the right to take and hold a property of another. Meaning that if and when WC accepts your claim the private IC has the right to be reimbursed for what they pay on your behalf. No payment from WC no reimbursement to the IC. It isn't such a big deal really.

    I suggest you contact whom ever referred you to this PS and ask them why a PS and not an Orthopedic hand surgeon as that is exactly what you need for CTS releases.

    Take care and be well.

    Steel
    Last edited by SteelMagnolia; 03-19-2008 at 09:34 PM.
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    I'm thinking it was WC IC that sent me to him. I had my appointment today. He does carpal tunnel surgery.
    WC had not sent him my test results so he based his decision on what I told him. He said I need surgery in both wrists.
    They took some measurements and finger pinch and grip tests. The papers he gave me said my next visit will be surgery.

    He said instead of the one longer incision where I'd be off work for 6 weeks they can do a procedure where only 2 small incisions are made in the wrist and the recoup time is approximately 3 weeks total and I can have both wrists done at once and be able to use them 24 hours later to do things I normally do.
    He said the surgery where they make one longer slit is when they need to clean out around the tunnel. Based on my medical history he said he saw no need to clean it out so the 2 small incisions would work well for me.
    I've mailed the paperwork to my lawyer.
    I'd like to know what you think.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    I think doing both hands at the same time is a HUGE mistake regardless of what approach is used, open surgery or with a scope and two small incisions. The interior work is basically the same and you will end up having one or both hands redone as you will use one or the other for ADL, Activities of Daily Living, and one or both surgeries will end up messed up.

    I would NOT allow them to do both hands at one time and insist that they guarantee me that IF they do them both at once that I wouldn't suffer ANY ill effects from doing such. I can promise you they will make NO such guarantee. I can also promise you that I would NOT allow them to operate on both of my hands at the same time. IF there is only a three week healing period then fine let them do one and go back in three weeks and do the other one. That is only adding three weeks to your total recovery and it beat the heck out of having to go through that darn surgery a second time on the same hand. That PS is an IDIOT, IMHO!

    When I had my CTS releases done my orthopedic surgeon just laughed when I asked about getting it all over with at the same time. His words were to the effect of "How long do you think it will be before we have to redo one if not both surgeries as you have ADL that you absolutely have to have one hand to preform and ANY movement of the hand/wrist in the first week or even two can undo the repair work from the surgery!" I was not allowed to even remove the huge bandages. He took them off 10 days after surgery. I was instructed to NOT use the operated hand/wrist for anything until after he took the bandages off, removed the stitches and inspected the incisions.

    NO NO NO absolutely do NOT allow them to operate on both hands at the same time. The only way I would consider it is IF they provided someone to dress me, comb my hair, give me drinks and feed me, wipe my butt, scratch my knee, you name it. You need one unencumbered hand to conduct ADL! I don't buy a 24 hour period of time being long enough to wait before using one hand or the other for ADL. I simply do NOT buy it! You shouldn't either, IMHO.

    Just curious but how can he base a decision on your medical history with out having the files with your test results in hand? I am somewhat confused with that statement. Please clarify it for me.

    Good luck to you be sure and let us know how things are going.

    Steel
    Last edited by SteelMagnolia; 03-29-2008 at 06:08 AM.
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: Carpal Tunnel And My Employer

    Dawter if you don't mind me asking what type of job do you do? Is it repetitive? Like my job it is very repetitive we use pliers and suction cups to get our parts from the machines. I had problems with my wrist from this job after about 6 months the job I had before that was not repetitive I said something to my boss and they sent me to a chiropractor and he said I was on the verge of getting CT he did some adjustments for a month a few restrictions and I have never had problems with my wrist since then now just my back that no one seems to be able to fix. So in 6 months yes I was developing CT so I do believe you have it. Its probably to late for you but it is something you can let other people know so they don't have to go thru what you are going thru.

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