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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    2

    Default WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    I had a slip and fall at work a few weeks ago after walking into the ladies room which was freshly mopped but the cleaning crew failed to put up a "wet floor" sign. I fell forward, with my dominant arm outstretched and had severe pain. I immediately reported the incident to my employer and went to the ER, where they took an xray and said I didn't break anything. They said to see an orthopedic specialist if I was still in pain after a few days.

    I saw the specialist a few days later, after WC took their sweet time approving care, because I still couldn't move my arm and at this point, I noticed back pain. My examination with the worker's comp othopedic specialist took all of 2 minutes. I asked for an MRI which he said I did not need at that time. He passively moved my arm in different directions, while supporting the weight of it, filled out a piece of paper that said I could return to modified work (mostly sedentary work) and gave me a prescription to do physical therapy 3x a week.

    At my next appointment, 3 physical therapy visits later, I told the doctor I still could not raise my arm on my own and the physical therapist suspected a torn rotator cuff. He finally ordered an MRI which revealed that I fractured my shoulder. Again, I said I was experiencing back pain so he gave me another script for more physical therapy, this time for my back. I have to hold off on rehab for at least 3 more weeks, so the fracture can heal. I was frustrated that I was sent to PT without a diagnosis and in retrospect, could have put more stress on the fracture doing exercises.

    The back pain is pretty severe (at times I'm in tears) and I think it is made worse my overcompensating for my injured arm. I haven't slept through the night in weeks and when I sit at the computer to work for more than an hour the pain is intense and I also have numbness at times. Some days are better than others but it hurts everyday, especially in the morning and at night. If anything, it is getting worse as time goes by and I brought it up again yesterday and the doctor said, "I wouldn't worry about it". It's easy to keep my arm in a sling but the back pain is making it hard to do anything.

    I feel like something is out of alignment or maybe a pinched a nerve, judging my the numbness. If I fell hard enough to fracture my shoulder, I think it's worth looking into whether or not I also did damage to my back. So, my question is, what do I have to do to get this doctor so send me for the proper diagnotic tests to see if I injured my back? Do I complain directly to my WC claims adjustor? Can I have my own family doctor send me for a test? These doctors just seem to downplay everything... Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
    Last edited by iH8wc; 08-10-2012 at 05:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    iH8wc
    Can I have my own family doctor send me for a test?
    The employer has the right to designate the authorized treating physician for all work related injuries. Only in the situations where the employer inappropriately refuses to provide medical treatment or if an emergency exists, may the injured worker choose the treating physician. In the case of the latter, the injured worker should notify the employer as soon as possible concerning the treatment being received.
    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/...index.html#Med

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
    Consult an attorney asp!!
    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/...ers_index.html

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Morristown, NJ
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    Unfortunately your story is one that I hear all too often. Your persistence in complaining about your back problem was very good. It forced the doctor to make note of these complaints and send you for some (albeit ineffective) treatment. This will make it more difficult for the WC carrier to deny, at a later date, that the back is related to your accident. However, now you find yourself in severe pain, receiving what is likely insufficient medical care and working at a job that may be too strenuous and worsening your underlying condition. That is not good. Although the WC carrier has the right to direct your medical care, they must do so responsibly. If they do not, you can seek a Court Ordermrequiring them to provide the correct care and, if appropriate, requiring them to allow you to stay out of work while receiving what is essentially pay reimbursement. This is a somewhat complicated process. You need to obtain a doctor's report assessing diagnosis, causal relationship, treatment plan and ability to work. You then need to file a Motion with the Couty that includes that treatment note plus a certification signed by you. The matter will be filed with the Court within 35 days of filing. Within that time the WC carrier must prepare their defense. When listed before the judge, the Motion will either be resolved without testimony or will proceed to testimony. If it proceeds to testimony, you will have to testify as well as your doctor and the WC insurance carrier's doctor. This legal process really requires the assistance of an attorney. It would take too long to explain exactly how the attorney gets paid, but suffice to say that on the Motion I just described, if he is successful, the full fee would come for the WC insurance carrier. If he is not successful, you would not have to pay him anything. You really need to contact an attorney. Let me know if I can help and good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    First of all, stop whining and start thinking. It's coming through loud and clear that you are panicking. Normal enough response for what you are going through. But its not a nice place to work from to get the care your body is telling you that it needs. This WC system laughs at our panic! They fear carefully directed anger.

    First of all, get it through your head that NO ONE is going to look out for your health except YOU. No matter how much they pretend to even thinly appear to care? They don't. Not your lawyer/s, not your doctor/s, nor your ER, and certainly not WC IC. Their motto is more money for them, not you. The squeaky, obnoxious wheel gets the grease in their pet system. That's the way they play. So? Play the game! You don't need the kind, compassionate lawyer who holds your hand. Go for the creative, greedy as sin shark type. He won't sell himself down the river by no means. Always be aware he doesn't care about "you", and frankly doesn't need to in order to win. He needs to care about the money he can get FROM your case. The more the better. Right from the very first visit, ask how much money your case is worth to HIM, not you. If he takes offense, walk out. He's a sniveler. If he is honest and replies your case is worth something to him, don't you take offense. Respect him for it. He's being honest and tell him so.

    You can't bluff your way out of this, but neither can they. All my first lawyer wanted was some quick cash. Oh, sure he held my hand and promised me the moon... and frustrated my case, and further injured my health in the meantime with dropped delays. Because I believed him. Good thing I took the best advice I've ever gotten in this entire mess--from a nurse who had nothing to gain from me (clue). Call your local unions. (Pretend you are one of their own if you must.) Ask for the name of the greediest, dirtiest, meanest, most clever fox of a comp lawyer they know because your case a a doozie! Unions keep private tabs on lawyers. (At least hers does. Who knew?) After languishing for a year, my case has scheduled its third trial, every condition I developed because of their holding back medical care or forcing wrong medical care, is now firmly WC responsibility. And WC is FURIOUS! The fury shows on their faces every time we go to court. I love the smell of napalm in the morning..... as the saying goes. Patience is not a virtue when your body is being left to deliberately deteoriate while YOU sit there and let it.

    Request a meeting with your current lawyer and flat out tell whoever, if you don't receive an appointment by a certain time limit of YOUR choosing, and get some logical answers and be informed of his clear plan of determined action behind them, tell them you will be seeking more forthcoming legal help elsewhere. Say thank you and goodbye, and... place... the phone on the hook. Yes, it's a threat--a free one. Put feet to it if they refuse.

    Sharks are good. When leading the way. Think. If this were your child, would you be doing anything and everything to get them the care they needed? Would you stare and shout down anyone and every one to help "them"? So why are you, the mother, worth any less to yourself? There you go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    I fail to understand how being cocky, demanding, threatening and pushy is going to be helpful or get the poster the help needed.
    Most attorneys will do just fine without your case, I doubt they will tolerate the abuse, they'd probably tell you to go to hell and get out of the office.
    It's not like there's a hundred attorneys waiting for a disputed comp case, there's not that much money involved to eat shit over.

    Be polite, show respect and hopefully you'll find a competent attorney to secure the medical help you need.

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,047

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    Sometimes I wonder if a complaint to the state medical board about an insurance company doctor who ignores complaints from a work comp patient would do any good. Probably not, it would probably just reduce the number of docs willing to see comp patients. Oh well...................

    And most good work comp lawyers will not tolerate rude and unreasonable clients. It just isn't worth the hassle and stress to represent those clients. Grrrr's advice about how to deal with lawyers is unlikely to be productive and may result in you getting discharged as a client. If your first lawyer fires you it may be impossible to find someone good who is willing to be your second lawyer.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    Quote Quoting tony View Post
    I fail to understand how being cocky, demanding, threatening and pushy is going to be helpful or get the poster the help needed.
    Most attorneys will do just fine without your case, I doubt they will tolerate the abuse, they'd probably tell you to go to hell and get out of the office.
    It's not like there's a hundred attorneys waiting for a disputed comp case, there's not that much money involved to eat shit over.

    Be polite, show respect and hopefully you'll find a competent attorney to secure the medical help you need.

    Tony
    Totally agreed - Thanks Tony!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    Just grovel. Okay. You always get what you need when you patiently grovel, right? Hogwash.

    Cocky never entered into the picture. What makes you think that standing up for yourself includes being cocky, demanding and threatening? Those negative attitudes are for people who don't know how to stand up for themselves. Remind them you be treated like they prefer to be treated. With respect. What's wrong with that? Persistence can be polite, honest, and able to work with a lawyer. Strange, but it sure worked for me now that I wised up and fired the handholders, and found a creative lawyer who is GREEDY A*N*D WILLING to work hard for his money--and therefore mine. A rarity, I well know. We clicked from the start because we were both honest with each other's motives and requirements. Not many do. He knows I'm not after money. I know he is. He knows I'm determined to get the medical care I NEED, knowing it can only bring him more money. They go hand in hand---in THEIR OWN STUPID WC IC SYSTEM!

    It may be their carrot, but it will always be MY STICK. NOBODY else owns that but ME. I will never relinquish it again.
    Last edited by Grrrrrr; 08-15-2012 at 07:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    iH8wc

    I see you are now a "Senior Member" of the NJWC's claimants club!! So you dont like the club benefits?? neither did I!!

    Honestly if this were me and I was feeling that sort of pain the 1st thing I would do is file a second injury report, with your employer detailing your BACK PAIN, then the next time you see this Dr MAKE it a point to show him how IMPAIRED you are from back pain. DO NOT exaggerate, as they have ways to see if you are malingering or showing signs of symptoms magnification. Just remember your worst pain and how it effected you and SHOW HIM!!!!!! Sure the WCDR is paid well to say " "I wouldn't worry about it" or some lame excuse to limit medical care.

    What do you need to do to get this Dr to send you to the proper diagnotic tests to see if I injured my back? Well the first thing is this Dr is more concerned with his relationship with the payer than is concerned for your medical well being (in my opinion) or he would treat you more like a patient than a claim #. Honestly I feel you will need to show this dr your WORST of your worst days. For him to ever consider you a real patient!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DONT cry to your adjuster she will NOT HELP YOU!! She is on the side of your employer, your family Dr cant help unless your employer authorizes his care.

    In rare cases a lawyer can get your unauthorized care approved but this is a very difficult task and is for lawyers who are truly in it for the injured worker. Most lawyers who do NJWC do it on a large volume not individual bases, however a well known expert in NJWC law is already a millionaire so $$ may not be his main objective at this point in their career?? As stated above you need to show the treating Dr your worst condition, if you are willing to suck up the pain when at his office then he feels you're willing to suck it up everywhere??

    Hope this helps

    Stay hopeful

    BUG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: WC Doctor Keeps Ignoring My Complaints of Back Pain

    I Agree with you...I'm suffering with intense pain now as we speak, unable to stand or sit for any period of time without experincing intense pain. I have been fighting to get treatment for a year now, judge authorizes treatment, and workers comp stalls, denies, and sends out private investigator to watch me! I have been treated once in the past 2 months since being awarded medical and compensation. Doctors nurses are in on the scam as well, constantly documenting everything you do, asking for a urine test in front of other patients, delaying treatment by mistakes in scheduling treatments!


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