Hello Workers Comp Forum members,
I like to reflect upon the past year especially around Thanksgiving and on through the end of the year. I found this community forum early in the year (2010) and am so grateful that I did. While I was a newbie (and still am) and shy about posting, when I did decide to post I always got good information, but never took it as gospel, but rather a spring-off point for me to continue educating myself about the W/C process which as we all know is complex and frustrating.
While my case seems a lot less complicated than a lot of members that I read about here, it was still a frustrating, mind-bending, complicated and sometimes down right fraudulent dealing with the Insurance Companies (IC) and especially the Claims Adjusters (CA). I had a total of 7 CA's because they would get so frustrated with me because I would not settle the case via C&R just because they chose to give me erroneous information. This information included; denying medical treatment without cause, employer doctor declaring me MMI 3 days after reading an MRI that took 6 months to get. Employer doctor (who was my PTP for 6 months) not appealing ANY decisions with regards to my medical treatment. And well the list goes on and on.
But each step of the way, I researched, talked to people, bought books, (most importantly one called "What to do if you are an injured worker in California" by Nolo Press) where I learned that when the employer doctor declared me MMI I had the right to request a QME. From that day forward, I was determined to get all the medical care required to at least treat the injury I sustained on the job, without backing down - ever.
I see so many stories of injured workers (IW) here on this forum and it breaks my heart at the way we are treated, cajoled, manipulated, lied to by someone along the way in the system. As many people have talked about, the Workers Comp system is not designed to get us back to our "pre-injury" condition, or even wages, but rather to treat the medical issues and get back to work as soon as possible (even when that is sometimes not feasible).
But, with all that said, I wanted to say a big "thanks" to members of this board who have reached out to me along the way. I appreciate it. And I hope with what I have learned, I might be able to help just one person get through this process. One of the most important things that I learned along the way is to accept my body as it now stands, and had to grieve for many of the things I used to do (golfing, hiking etc) that I can no longer do because of my injury sustained on a job. However, I have managed to find other things that I enjoy and can do relatively pain-free (well not really pain free) but I think maybe you all get the "jist."
So, if my post helps just one person in any way, or I can be of service with what I have learned, I hope that you will reach out to me.
Happy Thanksgiving all!