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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4

    Question Ulnar Nerve Damage Settlement

    My husband and I live in AL, he works for a coal mine w/ heavy equipment, we have 4 young kids. He injured his elbow on 11/08 at work. He saw 5 dr before one said "ulnar nerve damage". Dr tried to wait & see if it would improve w/ meds & time. It did not. Dr sent him to PT 3-4x wk, then had surgery on 7/09 where they took the nerves behind his "funny bone" & laid the over the bone so the nerves could heal . Dr told him he could go back to work in 2-3 weeks & cont PT. He's tried meds, creams, patches, nothing helped. Dr told us that nerve damage takes a very long time to heal that it would get better. 3 mo after the surgery dr told him that he had done all he could do & he did not see any problems with the surgery & sent him to a pain management dr. She (new dr) cont PT & said the same thing, "wait and see what happenes". His arm improved some over time but still a lot weaker that the other arm, has constant pain that is worse at times, goes numb, & will swell if he uses it too much. We retained a laywer just in case some problems came up that we didn't know how to deal with.The lawyer has not told anything to expect just do what the doctor tells you to do. He did not give us any info on what a MMI was so when they game my husband one we didn't know how important it was, he has 6% imparment in his arm and 10% whole body impairment. They put my husband on light duty for a couple of mo then back to FT work w/o restrictions & said to try it for a few weeks & see if you arm gets better with use. His arm did not improve at all, it hurt worse. He told Dr & lawyer that his arm was not getting better & it hurts all the time but with excessive use it hurts worse, the dr would tell him to try it for a few more wk & to use the patches (that don't work). The dr said that he is as good as he is going to get. He can't use his arm to do things that he has always done or hold the baby w/o fear that his arm will going numb w/o warning and dropping him, same goes for a glass of water. Now the laywer says WC wants to settle & it is scheduled injury so the set amount is 6500.00 & open med 4 life. That all b/c he was able to go back to work so the pain will be hard to prove. My husband told the doctor every visit that he was in pain. He did what everyone told him to do. Now we are behind/lost everything because his pay went from bring home 1200.00 a wk to 706.00 (the max). We owe his employer 4000. for uniforms & insu while he was off work. I called the state WC division & was told the lawyer gets 15% & whatever else he ask compensataion for such as phone calls, letters ect. So WC paid him half of his normal pay every wk we are paying his employer the 4000. in wk payments, he got a surgery that didn't work, we got .50 mi the rest is out of pocket. Over all we went in debt over this injury and I was told to look at it as if he had lost his job, we would still be responsable for those bills. Life is not fair I know that but this is unjust & the injured party is the one who is punished. They said his arm is as good as it will get, but he is worried that it will get worse with time, has anyone with this type of injury been through something like this? Any advice on what might help him get relief from the pain, the best thing we have found is hot water but he is 6' 2" too big for our bathtub & by the time the shower starts helping the hot water runs out. It's prob too late to help us but if someone knows something we can do to help future victims please let me know. We go to court in a wk & I guess we are going to settle, we don't know what else to do, the dr & lawyer don't seem to care or listen to my husband. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Ulnar Nerve Damage Settlement

    Quote Quoting ConfusedInAL View Post
    My husband and I live in AL, he works for a coal mine w/ heavy equipment, we have 4 young kids.

    He injured his elbow on 11/08 at work. He saw 5 dr before one said "ulnar nerve damage". Dr tried to wait & see if it would improve w/ meds & time. It did not.
    Dr sent him to PT 3-4x wk, then had surgery on 7/09 where they took the nerves behind his "funny bone" & laid the over the bone so the nerves could heal . Dr told him he could go back to work in 2-3 weeks & cont PT.

    He's tried meds, creams, patches, nothing helped. Dr told us that nerve damage takes a very long time to heal that it would get better. 3 mo after the surgery dr told him that he had done all he could do & he did not see any problems with the surgery & sent him to a pain management dr.

    She (new dr) cont PT & said the same thing, "wait and see what happenes". His arm improved some over time but still a lot weaker that the other arm, has constant pain that is worse at times, goes numb, & will swell if he uses it too much.

    We retained a laywer just in case some problems came up that we didn't know how to deal with.The lawyer has not told anything to expect just do what the doctor tells you to do.
    He did not give us any info on what a MMI was so when they game my husband one we didn't know how important it was, he has 6% imparment in his arm and 10% whole body impairment.

    They put my husband on light duty for a couple of mo then back to FT work w/o restrictions & said to try it for a few weeks & see if you arm gets better with use.
    His arm did not improve at all, it hurt worse. He told Dr & lawyer that his arm was not getting better & it hurts all the time but with excessive use it hurts worse, the dr would tell him to try it for a few more wk & to use the patches (that don't work).
    The dr said that he is as good as he is going to get.
    He can't use his arm to do things that he has always done or hold the baby w/o fear that his arm will going numb w/o warning and dropping him, same goes for a glass of water.

    Now the laywer says WC wants to settle & it is scheduled injury so the set amount is 6500.00 & open med 4 life. That all b/c he was able to go back to work so the pain will be hard to prove.

    My husband told the doctor every visit that he was in pain. He did what everyone told him to do.
    Now we are behind/lost everything because his pay went from bring home 1200.00 a wk to 706.00 (the max). We owe his employer 4000. for uniforms & insu while he was off work. I called the state WC division & was told the lawyer gets 15% & whatever else he ask compensataion for such as phone calls, letters ect.

    So WC paid him half of his normal pay every wk we are paying his employer the 4000. in wk payments, he got a surgery that didn't work, we got .50 mi the rest is out of pocket. Over all we went in debt over this injury and I was told to look at it as if he had lost his job, we would still be responsable for those bills.
    Life is not fair I know that but this is unjust & the injured party is the one who is punished. They said his arm is as good as it will get, but he is worried that it will get worse with time, has anyone with this type of injury been through something like this?
    Any advice on what might help him get relief from the pain, the best thing we have found is hot water but he is 6' 2" too big for our bathtub & by the time the shower starts helping the hot water runs out. It's prob too late to help us but if someone knows something we can do to help future victims please let me know.
    We go to court in a wk & I guess we are going to settle, we don't know what else to do, the dr & lawyer don't seem to care or listen to my husband. Any advice?
    I had to break up the block of type...too difficult to read, sorry.\

    WC pays benefits for injury/illness in the workplace. The benefits are limited, and so is medical care. There is no goal of return to pre injury condition, only to stability/MMI.
    The awards are predetermined by the statues, a number of weeks for each body part, or whole person impairment. The TTD is tax free, naturally, that doesn't always cover the monthly bills a family faces.

    If there is concern over the long term affects of this injury, and need for further care, you should not close this claim, but negotiate the indemnity due, and leave the medical open. The medical coverage for this body part is much more valuable than the lump sum of cash.

    The pain he complains of is already included in the PD/WPI rating. Pain in itself is not provided indemnity as the loss of earning capacity, or ability to compete in the open labor market.

    How about trying a heating pad, vs getting in the tub... the heat is necessary to the arm/elbow, not the 'whole body'.... or a large pot of hot water... (??)
    Has the pain management Dr offered injections...? There are ways to deaden the nerve. Nerve damage takes about a month per inch to rejuvenate...If that is going to happen. So as the nerves orginiate from the neck/cervical spine, and the elbow is about 20" to 24" from the neck/spine, you are looking at about 2 years for the pain to fully subside. Not months as you have been waiting.

    I addressed your 4K you owe the ER for 'whatever"....
    Who has been paying for his uniforms ?
    The ER is liable for continuing benefts for up to 12 weeks/annum if there is eligibility for FMLA benefits.

    You begin to change the WC system in your own family/friends network. The people you elect to the state house are the ones who make the comp rules... let them know your situation, and how you intend to cast your vote come November.

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