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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default What to Do After Injuring Your Neck at Work

    I was injured 20 business days ago and I gave my notice of injury to my employer on day 4. I think I have a herniated disc in my neck, I can barely hold my head up, I can't sit without pain and discomfort, I have loss of motion in my right shoulder, it is lifted and tense like a nerve is pinched, and I am in a lot of pain with some muscle spasms in my arm and lower left eyelid. I didn't get a response or call from the adjuster like I was told I would on day 5. I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor on day 7 but they refused to see me as they don't deal with workers comp. I didn't hear anything from my employer or adjuster so I talked to an attorney on day 8. They told me to go back to work. I contacted HR and they said talk to the adjuster before I come back. My lawyer talked to the adjuster and that is all I was told by them on day 12. I have not been to work since day 2 because I never got an answer on if I go back to work.

    On day 15 I got a letter in the mail from my lawyer saying I should receive a call from the adjuster to start treatment. I have not heard from them and was called by my lawyer yesterday (day 22) asking if I got a call from them. Then they called back asking if I have been to work and yelled at me to go to work (even though I told them HR and/or the adjuster has not authorized that). I never got an answer from HR or the adjuster (they wouldn't talk to me because I am represented). I sent an email to HR this morning saying I will be back to work Monday. I will be at work Monday unless someone says otherwise. I just don't want to aggravate my injury, but if I must go to work to get benefits even if it gets worse then okay...

    I have been in bed at home 80% of the time the past 3 weeks because doctors refuse to see me and I am feel like I am getting nowhere. It is nearly the end of the month with no paycheck and no benefits. I can't live on credit cards for months. Is this how workers comp works? Am I getting screwed, am I doing anything wrong, is my lawyer, employer, or adjuster in the wrong, or is this all normal? Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by workernumber293; 02-11-2016 at 02:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,748

    Default Re: How Does This Work Am I Getting Screwed

    1. You need to see a competent spine doctor (MD or DO, orthopedist or neurosurgeon, or a physiatrist in a spine clinic). If you have an HNP in your neck, you need evaluation and treatment, because that is a potentially very serious injury. If you develop bowel or bladder incontinence, go to the hospital emergency room immediately (you have about 8 hours to get it treated before you have permanent damage) and insist on an evaluation by a neurosurgeon there in the emergency department before you leave. Do you have health insurance?

    2. You need to find out from your lawyer what you need to do at this point. Your lawyer should be able to tell you how to get medical treatment. You are currently in a situation where the claim has been started but has been neither denied nor accepted by the work comp insurance carrier. So you are in legal limbo, which is not that unusual at this stage of the case. Ask your lawyer how you can get in to see an appropriate doctor. If your lawyer is experienced, he or she should be able to tell you.

    3. If you were here in NC, I would be concerned because your case is collapsing on you. I think aggressive action needs to be taken by a lawyer when my cases are in this shape 3 weeks post-accident, but that is mostly because carriers are supposed to admit or deny within 14 days under our law. You may need an aggressive lawyer on this, so talk to your lawyer about what can be done to move this along.
    Last edited by complwyr; 02-11-2016 at 03:06 PM.
    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 and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How Does This Work Am I Getting Screwed

    Quote Quoting complwyr View Post
    1. You need to see a competent spine doctor (MD or DO, orthopedist or neurosurgeon, or a physiatrist in a spine clinic). If you have an HNP in your neck, you need evaluation and treatment, because that is a potentially very serious injury. If you develop bowel or bladder incontinence, go to the hospital emergency room immediately (you have about 8 hours to get it treated before you have permanent damage) and insist on an evaluation by a neurosurgeon there in the emergency department before you leave. Do you have health insurance?

    2. You need to find out from your lawyer what you need to do at this point. Your lawyer should be able to tell you how to get medical treatment. You are currently in a situation where the claim has been started but has been neither denied nor accepted by the work comp insurance carrier. So you are in legal limbo, which is not that unusual at this stage of the case. Ask your lawyer how you can get in to see an appropriate doctor. If your lawyer is experienced, he or she should be able to tell you.

    3. If you were here in NC, I would be concerned because your case is collapsing on you. I think aggressive action needs to be taken by a lawyer when my cases are in this shape 3 weeks post-accident, but that is mostly because carriers are supposed to admit or deny within 14 days under our law. You may need an aggressive lawyer on this, so talk to your lawyer about what can be done to move this along.
    Alright I will remember that info. I do have good health insurance. I have a WC claim number. Does that mean the claim was accepted? When should I find a different lawyer to represent me if my case gets nowhere in the next month?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: How Does This Work Am I Getting Screwed

    You can apply for state temporary disability and have your primary doctor or WC doctor you eventually see sign for that to be reimbursed. Workmans comp may have to reimburse the state but at least you have part of an income. My biggest advice is that throughout your ordeal you should request every single piece of medical record including reports, films, CD's what have you for your own record and to keep a file. You may need the records down the road.
    I fired my original WC attorney after three months of him doing nothing! The second attorney just reimburses them out of the portion they get at the end. Its always a problem if you don't go for treatment immediately because they figure it couldn't have been that bad. Not always the case especially with herniated disc and they usually put you into weeks of physical therapy before ever doing an MRI FYI Be sure to report up front any previous injuries which you may have exacerbated. If you don't your screwed they will flat out deny. Best of luck its not fun you will need lots of patience and the ability to let things unfold as they will is a virtue :-)

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