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Steps To Take When Injuried At Work
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN INJURIED AT WORK
When injuried at work no matter how simple the injury may seem according to the companies policies require you to file a report. Even though you feel it is not necessary, these policies are put in place to protect you and the Company. For example you are lifting something and feel some burning in the low back. It is very easy to schrug it off and go on about your business. The problem with this is that most back injuries progressively get worse especially after you have had time to relax. The pain increases so much that you are now unable to sleep, you will have to take the next day off from work. Most Companies require you to get a back to work slip from the doctor before you return to work.
At the doctor you are asked how this happened. It is a workers compensation incident and must be reported to your Company as such. When you get back to work you must fill out paper work for the injury. I was determined with my injury to keep working. I went back to work the next day and managed to work a couple of weeks before the pain was so bad that I was biting peoples heads off. That was not fair to my co-workers, I am sorry to them but I was so determined not to let the injury take me away from what I loved to do. I was off work for about a month, going through physical therapy, was bored and still determined to work. I went back to work but was only able to work for a few days. I was put off work indefinitly.
The insurance company stopped paying me for my time off from work. They owed me at that time over $2000.00 in lost wages. I finally hired an Attorney. I should have hired my attorney at the beginning instead of waiting for the insurance company to start screwing me.
The reason for an attorney is to guide you through the injury especially if it is going to affect your future. It takes the stress off you in dealing with the insurance company. We all know that there have been a small number of cases where people have tried to screw the insurance companies with false claims. Unfortunatly for those of us that are truely injuried, we pay the price of what we perceive as being screwed by the insurance company.
Examples of the insurance process;
You are sent to a so called independant doctor for a rating. You get asked by that doctor if you feel you are stable for a rating. I was sent to mine before I hired my attorney. I thought at that time I could not get any worse and explained it that way, believing I was stable, so said yes. Unless you are a doctor or your doctor you are seeing tells you that you are stable you should respond that you are not qualified to answer that question. You should have them call your doctor in order for them to get the answer to that question. The independant doctor gives a rating of your disability.
With the rating from the independant doctor the insurance company will make you an offer to settle your case. These offers are to completely release the insurance company from anything else to do with you. If you take the offer that is all you get. Getting more help is all on you. If your not able to work oh well...
My independant doctor gave me a 10% permenant disability rating. Even though I was at the time unable to return to work. Unable to return to the work place for any job. Sitting for more than 15 to 20 minutes making my left leg go to sleep. Walking around for more than 20 minutes causing unbearable pain in the low back and left leg. Standing with most of the weight on the righ leg was the most I could do. I could stand for an hour till the right leg started to get fatigued. After this I needed to be laying down. Lots of hydrocodone medication just so I can function around the home.
Currently having hired an Attorney and letting them handle things reduces the stress on me. I follow my Attorneys' advice and file everything through them. The insurance company still screws with your milage and medical care but it is through someone who is there to protect your best interest.
The insurance company still owes me a lot of money but I will get it in the end. My current situation after over 2 years of this is that the doctors want me to see a surgery doctor for a surgicial review. With a disc protrusion in the L-4 area, I may need surgery in order to get better.
In closing I want to let you know that what I thought was a simple thing in the beginning has turned out to be a nightmare. My life may never be the same. It is my hope that the insurance company will stop stalling things and get me the help I need. For those of you out there that are going through what I am, I feel for you. Hang in there, things do change for the better.
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