My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: Washington
I'm wondering if someone can give me a quick answer to this question....is it worth my time to file a work comp claim?
In August of 2008, I went on break with a coworker. We were walking to the store to get breakfast. We were on the sidewalk outside of my work, when I tripped on an uneven spot in the pavement. I fell, scraped both knees pretty bad, and my foot hurt. The pain got increasingly worse, and within an hour I couldn't put any weight on it at all. My boss drove me to urgent care, but told me its not work comp since I was on break. Urgent care took an x-ray and found that I had fractured my 5th Metatarsal and sprained my ankle pretty bad. They sent me off with crutches and a walking cast, and told me to start putting weight on it as soon as possible.
That was August. I followed the doctor's instructions, and started bearing weight on my foot as soon as I could. All in all, my recovery took about 6 weeks til I was out of the cast. It would still hurt from time to time, but didn't seem serious. Up to that point, all I had paid was a $20 copay, so a workers comp claim didn't even seem worth my time.
Then in January 2009, I woke up one morning and could no longer walk. I hadn't done anything to injure my foot, so didn't understand why I was in so much pain. I went back to the same urgent care, who said that I had sprained my ankle again. How I did that was anybody's guess. I then followed up with a Podiatrist, who then ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed that I had actually BROKEN my ankle back in August, and since then about 2cm of edema and arthritis had developed inside of my ankle. Because of the location of the break (inside the joint), it would not show up on a regular x-ray.
However, I also have extremely flat feet, and the tendon that is supposed to hold my arch up in that same foot (I had started having problems with this foot in November 2007), was tearing, aka Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. This was also revealed by the MRI.
I have since had to have surgery to remove all the edema and arthritis and bad tissue in my ankle. This was at the end of February....three months later and I still can't walk right. My podiatrist tells me that my ankle is in horrible condition, that I will always have trouble with it, I will have many more surgeries, I will be extremely limited in what I can do, and that basically, I have no ankle left. I now have an ugly scar on my ankle, walk with a limp, can't bend my ankle and am still in considerable pain. I asked my podiatrist what is the cause of this, my foot being flat or the broken ankle? He said my foot was bad to begin with, but the break has totally destroyed it.
So, here I am. I left my job in February to move to California to help take care of my dad who is very sick. I have no income and am in danger of losing my COBRA coverage because I can't find work here to pay for it. I now have bills to pay for the surgery and follow up care. I've already spent several hundred dollars in copays, special walking shoes, special soaps, antibiotics, a Riche brace, etc. My podiatrist would like to send me to physical therapy, but I simply can't afford it. Instead, I've been taking an Aqua class at my gym and swimming, which helps some.
When I was just out $20 in August, it didn't seem like a big enough deal to pursue. I'm not a sue happy person at all and figured accidents happen. But now, I'm out several hundred dollars, I owe several hundred more. I am in considerable pain, and have been told to expect more surgery in the future and that my activities will be limited because of this "disability". Already, I am limited to the type of work I can look for because I can't walk very far and I can't stand for any length of time. I don't want to be selfish, but I kinda feel like my employer should chip in.
So, does anyone know if the circumstances in my case are covered by Work Comp? Or am I just out of luck? Thanks!