Oklahoma Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Oklahoma Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Recently Had Fca and Going to See Doc

    I have a knee injury from 2 years ago that had I had surgery on about 5 months ago (lateral release (knee cap release). I have been on TTD since the surgery. I did 3 months of PT, but still have pain going up and down ladders, and down stairs. I have told my doc about this and he suggested the FCA. My knee has improved but the pain level is still pretty bad when I squat, kneel, or do what I mentioned above. It took me about 4 days to get the pain under control from doing the climbing and squatting for the FCA. I am going back to the doc today to discuss the results. Before the test was done he mentioned that my employer might have to help me find another job depending on my results. I assume that means Voc Rehab.

    My worry is that my FCA tester said they had a ACL tear at work one time and are fine now, and that I will be fine to. I did tell her my problems, but my knee test was only limited to 25 pounds of lifting because of an open WC case on my hands (same employer but different ins. carriers for each injury cause they switched between injuries) I had surgery on boths hands because of moderate to severe nerve damage. My new hand doc (court appointed 2nd opinion) wanted the test to cover my hands as well when I told him I was having and FCA for my knee, but the hand doc gave the tester instructions for me not to lift over 25 pounds during the test. Not a good way to test the capability of my knee. My knee tested ok for the 25 pounds i did have to carry of course. I told the testor I had more pain in myhands though during the testing.

    My job is a very labor intensive position in which I squat, kneel, climb 10ft ladders at least 20 times a day, and get on and off my knees about 20 times a day, and lift at least 70 pounds at a time (although in reality we lift around 100lbs at a time.) I am afraid returning with this pain will cause more injury to my knee.

    Am I screwed for Voc Rehab? I don't want to hurt any settlement amount because after 70% pay, I have some bills to take care of. But I do not think that my line of work suits my knee or hand injuries now. I will admit that my hands are more limiting than my knee. I have lost over 50% grip in both hands and can't push or pull more than 15 pounds right now. I had release surgery done a year ago and did PT for 3 months on both hands by the WC doc who released me, but went to court to get seen again, and he put me back on restrictions since the pain was back and going into my elbows. He wanted to send me to a pain management doc, but I wanted a second opinion. My new doc (I've seen once) wanted the FCA results and to review my case before discussing options. Can anyone suggest blunt questions to ask my knee or hand doc. I am not against a new line of work but must maintain a certain paylevel. Then again I don't want to screw myself for further treatment or a decent settlement for my knee or hands. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

    I forgot to mention I have an atty for both cases but as we all know they dont always reply in time. I just found this site and thought I would try it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Recently Had Fca and Going to See Doc. Today

    My suggestion is be honest and straight with yourself and your Dr.s. They likely have seen many cases like yours. You may have experienced a "life-changing event" which is permanent. Only you know. The difference between a Dr. and God, is: God doesn't think He's a Dr. Yet the Dr.s are astute and experienced in their field of expertise. Whatever questions you ask, listen to the answers. All the best.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Recently Had Fca and Going to See Doc

    Even with your info here, your atty's are the best source of legal advice. Each claim is unique to the individual, providing specific answers wouldn't be possible.

    If your ER cannot make a reasonable accommodation for your return to work, or modified/alternative job available, you may be eligible for VR program. VR will help identify your current job skills, and how those may be transfered to another type of employment. Whether or not you'd be paid wage differential, or how long would depend on what the OK WC statutes provide.

    Settlements in WC claims are based on the % of impairment, or patrial disability you suffer as a result of this injury.
    Basis for Compensation
    An injured worker is entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment resulting from an on-the-job injury. In order for an injured worker to be entitled to temporary benefits, he or she must be unable to work for more than three calendar days. Compensation for permanent disability is based upon the impairment resulting from an injury and the benefit amounts provided by law. The method for determining permanent disability under Oklahoma's system is two part - initially a physician provides an evaluation of an individual's percent of impairment and then a determination of the individual's disability is made. Technically, "impairment" is a medical assessment of an individual's health and "disability" is a non-medical assessment of an individual's ability to meet personal, social or occupational needs.

    Once the percent of disability has been established, benefits are calculated based upon both the state's average weekly wage (SAWW) and the employee's average weekly wage (AWW). Benefits are referred to in terms of "weeks" or "weeks of compensation" for a particular injury. The law provides benefits equal to 70% of the employee's AWW up to 100% of the SAWW for temporary total, permanent total and death benefits. The current SAWW is $683. It is due to change November 1, 2009 and will change every year at that time. Please refer to Title 85 of the Oklahoma Statutes, Section 22 (Schedule of Compensation) for further information or contact the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court at (405) 522-8600.
    Once you have reached MMI, and rated, you can find the indemnity due on "hands/feet" on pg 3 here http://www.owcc.state.ok.us/PPD%20PD...2007-28-09.pdf
    "Arms/legs" which your knee would likely fall under is pg 2.

    Indemnity is paid at a rate less than your TTD. There are min/max to PPD weekly payments.
    There is no money in WC for pain and suffering. If you close the claim by C&R you would be agreeing to accpet liability for additional treatment out of your pocket. Think carefully on setteling by lump sum of cash. Looks good, but not always in your best interests.
    More here http://www.ok.gov/odol/documents/WCBooklet2009.pdf and http://www.ok.gov/odol/Workers_Compe...ent/index.html

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