Washington Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Washington Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Arm Crushed in Workplace Accident

    Firstly, I'm in Washington.

    Last month, I had surgery for breast cancer. I am pregnant. I just got laid off from my job, and no one is willing to hire a pregnant woman with work this scarce, I'm going on a month of hitting the temp agencies, malls, small businesses, help wanted ads, online job sites, etc. I am 3 months away from getting married.

    None of these things seems to hold a candle to me dealing with my fiance's L&I problem: He got his arm crushed by a refrigerator while installing appliances at a house, and had to open an L&I claim. This was back in October of 2011. It is now end of February, 2012, and he still isn't back to work. The problem is, he lost feeling in part of his arm, and two of his fingers frequently stop working and fall asleep. He has been going to physical and occupational therapy since October. His doctor sees him maybe once a month, only to tell him he's not well enough for the heavy duty lifting and moving necessary to do his job at an appliance store. At one point, he went back to work for about a week-but they only gave him maybe 3 hours of work a day, and then sent him home. After a week, his occupational therapist noticed a rapid decline in his strength, and pulled him back off the job, deeming him re-injured at work.

    He recently told me that his claim manager said that he could quit and find another job, but if he did, he would have to go in front of a court and give good reasoning why he quit his job and found another one. If it's not a good enough reason, he must pay back all the bills, payments, etc. for the time he was on L&I. Apparently, he signed something that says he can't consult a lawyer about his case?

    I don't know the L&I system. I tried calling them to get answers, and got transferred to a dead end system that automatically ended my call whenever I selected an option to speak with a live person, and their website says nothing about this particular avenue.

    All I want to know is if him quitting his job to get another to pay bills and prepare for a baby (our wedding is just at a courthouse, we cancelled everything so we could prepare for the baby and finding a home together) is legitimate reasoning. We're making it off of less than a grand a month, with food stamps...and I'm scared of bringing our baby into this situation. Even encouragement would help, we just feel so burdened right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Hope I'm in the Right Place: Will This Nightmare Ever End

    A person cannot waive their right to talk to a lawyer. He needs to talk to a suitable lawyer. Tomorrow.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Hope I'm in the Right Place: Will This Nightmare Ever End

    100% agree with Bob. Someone is blowing smoke. Tell him to use it to send a smoke signal to the nearest and best attorney he can find! Yesterday would be not one day too soon. Also IF he quits his job he is really going to make a mess with his WC/L&I claim. Don't even think about it.
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

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