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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    308

    Default Approved for Carpal Tunnel Release Surgeries, but CTS is Denied

    The IC has already paid for carpal tunnel release surgery in my right hand, and has approved for surgery in my left hand for later this month, but are denying any claim for capal tunnel syndrome? I have neck and back injuries that they already have also accepted as part of my claim. Does anyone know what their is behind their denial to carpal tunnel, while paying for the surgeries. Will I be entitled to ratings on each hand as a result of each surgery?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    Not really sure what the IC is trying to pull. If you dont have a lawyer I think you should get one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    No, I have one, was hoping someone may have had a similar situation and what the outcome was. Thanks for the reply

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    That is really strange.

    Do NOT ask them about it. Do not bring attention to it. Let them pay for the surgery, then fight the rest of the battle later. Carpal tunnel cases are hard to win. The standard for causation [NCGS 97-53(13)] is much more difficult to meet in a CTS case than in a back case.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    Not quite sre what you are saying. I am going ahead with the 2nd carpal tunnel surgery. Would my hands be rated as a part of my neck injuries in that I have 2 years worth of complaints and medcal proof of radiculopathy, which has led to carpal tunnel release. The surgeon has stated that I suffer from double cush syndrome as a result of my neck injuries. Had a 2 level fusion surgery back in Jan09'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    Not quite sre what you are saying.
    Bob is saying to keep quiet. Get the treatment/surgery, and deal with the rating issue when the situation calls for it. By raising the issue with the carrier now, or your doctor, you could be waving the proverbial red flag...and possibly see a denial to the upcomming surgery while you are waiting in the pre op.

    Carpal tunnel cases are hard to win. The standard for causation [NCGS 97-53(13)] is much more difficult to meet in a CTS case than in a back case.

    I'd have to go back and reread the ratings statute... but if NC rates to whole person impairment, vs scheduled body loss/impairment, it's not going to matter one way or the other... the rating will be WPI, how your ability to compete in the open labor market has been reduced. Thats basically what PD ratings are... doesn't mean you are 25% 'disabled'... per se. More like 25% of the jobs available you can no longer perform/qulaify for due to your ''impairment/disability''...that's the simple version anyway.
    Indemnity awards or settlements, are payments for your reduced earning ability in those jobs avaiable... when the weekly benefits run out, you should be back to your pre injury wages... now we know it doesn't work that way... but that's the legislative intent in predetermining awards/weeks indemnity.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: What Does This Mean

    I don't know much about double crush syndrome, but if your carpal tunnel symptoms are coming from a cervical radiculopathy, then it is a neck case rather than a hand case.

    We don't do whole body ratings in NC. You can expect a rating to each affected hand (5 to 10% each) and to the spine (10%, maybe more, see the rating guideline at the Ind Commn web site).

    The hand problems can be rolled into the spine rating if the doc thinks the spine injury caused the hand problems. Fusions have a higher rating than discectomy.

    Hope this helps. It has to be a generalization.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: Approved for Carpal Tunnel Release Surgeries, but CTS is Denied

    Thanks for the clarification. Already received ratings for my neck and back. They range from 20% to 23% for the neck. And range from 3% to 6% for the lower back. Was just wondering what ratings are given for the hands after a carpal tunnel release in each hand. In any case I'm not going back to what I once did, and giving the extent of my injuries and the rate of pay I was receiving, finding suitable employment is going to be a daunting task to say the least. Returning to my pre-injury condition or anything close, just isn't going to happen, unfortunately. Thanks for the comments and insights. Having surgery in 1 week, and hoping it will be the last.

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