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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Comp Claim Process After a Back Injury

    Back to School

    Ok, new here. In a nut shell:

    I injured my back 7 months ago at work (bulged disc, thoracic) and have been off work receiving wc checks. My back got a little better but still stabbing pains, and painful achyness from the minute I wake up even in my sleep, I basically cant sleep without meds very well. I dont know if it will ever get back to normal, but I cant put my life on hold to see how much better it will get.

    I am a commercial/industrial electrician, and have decided to go back to school in the event my back stays this way, as it has for months, I can get an education in a 2 year aa degree program that will get me a similar paying "less physically demanding" job. I have not informed my boss, I did however apply for student loan, already registered and accepted into college. (im 35 returning to school) Waiting to make sure I get my student loan.

    Question is, will this stop my medical benefits from being paid? Me quitting my job?

    Will it hurt my case to tell the adjuster I am returning to school and give my boss 2 weeks notice?

    I am so nervous. Going back to school is nerve-wracking, my wife has been a stay at home mom for 5 years, and will go back to work now too. This injury really has turned my life upside down. Worst case that scares me is - will I have to live with this pain forever? ugg!

    Sorry for rambling on, I just found this website and it is the first time I have actually been able to vent or ask some questions. I have not contacted a lawyer, plus I thought it would look bad if I did.

    Any thoughts would be great. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,943

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    Why would you quit your job...? THere is NO reason to voluntarily terminate from your employment.... you CAN go to school while you recover from your injury... just discuss this with you Dr, and be sure you are not doing things you say you cannot do due to your injury, or outside any restrictions you may have.

    GET to a consultation with a WC attorney... sooner than later... yesterday would be good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    What happens when my boss finds out I am going to school and immediately accomidates my restrictions? I am sure that would happen. As soon as I tell my doctor I am going to school, she will tell the workers comp adjuster, he reccomends to my boss to offer me work, then I have to quit. Right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,943

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    Stop anticipating the problems that may or may not arise.
    DO NOT quit your job... IF you are offered light duty, or modified work, deal with it at that time... your Dr has to release you before your ER can offer alternate job duties.

    There is also the option of night classes..., there are all kinds of way to make accommodations... wait until it's necessary.
    I am sure that would happen.
    At the end of the day, and with all due respect, you are not sure of anything. You, nor the Dr, or CA/ER has any proof positive of any issue in your claim. Only that you will eventually reach MMI, be rated for impairment, and your RTW will have to be addressed.

    If you want to think about "what if's''... What IF your Dr says you cannot return to your pre injury job...? What good would it do for your ER to offer accommodatons...?
    he reccomends to my boss to offer me work, then I have to quit. Right?
    TALK to an attorney... let the atty handle your difficulties... WC is not a DIY project, and you could forfeit benefits by trying to anticipate what may or may not happen.

    It is commendable you are attempting to return to school... what "If" you are offered a VR program... where a partial cost of your schooling were to be paid for.???
    You have every right to go to school... just move on with your plan... Do not quit your job... you could see the TTD stop... by voluntarily termination, you would no longer have wage loss to replace... and they will make every attempt to limit the financial exposure in your claim... that includes stopping your TTD/wage loss benefits. Then where would you be...?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    Also, does everyone here that has been through this think I should retain a workers comp lawyer?

    I dont have the money to throw at lawyers, we were just getting by before this injury.

    Call me old fashioned, but I was working every minute of ot I could ever get, and doing side jobs he last few years in order for my wife to be able to stay home and raise our kids. My job only paid $14.85 an hour and that is nothing to support a family of 5. Now that I have been injured I have only been receiving $430.00 a week and that is a whole new can of worms. Impossible to budget. Adjuster has been giving me the checks in the mail line since day one. I have to wait a month for a check here, 7 weeks there, 3 weeks, etc, I am owed 5 weeks right now and he keeps telling me it was sent, in another week of complaining he will say, ok I will cancel that check and issue you a new one, then he will finally send one.

    But I cant afford to pay a lawyer to answer my questions.

    I have no idea what all the abreviations are? But the program I am registered inhas no night classes. But I will just take it as it comes though I guess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,943

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    You don't have to pay an attorney for consultion... and if there is a fee, it would be taken from any indemnity award you may receive...

    You don't know anything about WC, the responses you get on a message board are not legal advise, nor should they be.
    You say you are already being delayed/denied benefits, THAT is a reason enough for consulting with an attorney... DO IT... how do you know it costs anything if you haven't even called any?
    STOP assuming things... get this claim on track, get the treatment you need, recover from the injury, and get back to work. I know that is your intent... but you are not doing yourself or your family any service by waiting and guessing at something you don't know how to handle. I'm not trying to be mean or disrespectful here... but I am trying to impress upon you this is not something you can handle on your own.

    HAVE you read the information in the IA WC Act...http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2003SUPPLEMENT/85/

    Did you know that... 85.70 Additional payment for attendance. for a Vocational Rehab program...? http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/...ENT/85/70.html

    There is a FAQ here http://www.iowaworkforce.org/wc/faq.htm
    Also, does everyone here that has been through this think I should retain a workers comp lawyer?
    This is not a democratic process....unless you have been a representative of your own in a court of law, or feel capable of learing the statutes and rules, and capable of going up against a savvy work comp attorney for the defense... EVERYONE here thinks you should consult with an attorney... everyone. I guarantee it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    BvIA is right get yourself an attorney.
    All those checks that where late will give you some money, that he can get from the insurance for delaying your checks.
    You don't have to quit that will just make matters worse.
    Just make sure that is something that you will be able to do after this injury,on what you want to study.

    good luck hope you feel better

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    How do I find the best attorney then? Anyone? Anyone have any recommendations?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,943

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    How about going here...http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer/al...ities-counties and following the links/instructions....

    Can't give specific names for AA/applicant attys here.
    But you need to do the research, ask the questions, and interview more than a couple. A trusting relationship is important between you and the AA, and a clear understanding of what will be provided.
    Go ahead and ask what will happen if you make frequent calls to ask "how is my claim proceeding?"....how long before a return call could be expected? Or, will you only be contacted when your input is necessary...?
    Find out what the AA expects from you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New Here. Few Questions

    I just received mmi rating of 5%. Which is a bunch of crap. anyway, is the 25 weeks (5% of 500 weeks) all I am entitled to? And is it prorated at 60% or whatever, the same as when i was receiving weekly checks? I asked the adjuster to cushion the 25 week - check, to cover a handful of trigger point injections etc, and he said that all they are on the hook for is the 25 weeks worth of disability. I quit my job and returned to college last september, so the time has elapsed that he plans to send me a check for around $11,000 which is nothing compared to lost wages, future medical bills etc. But he claims that they never ever give more than the weekly required amount from mmi rating. I am sure he is lying to me. Anyone have any idea? I dont think it is too much to ask to throw an extra $5000.00 on to cover future medical bills. Am I out of luck? Anyone?

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