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WC case at an End with no Treatment - What to Do?

TWHladyinLVTTWHladyinLV Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm supposed to go to the attorney's office on Wednesday to sign off on the Lump Sum Buy-out and sign papers for the person who is SUPPOSED to have helped me get re-training since I lost my high-paying job on the re-training buy-out. I had two cases before this one and did not use an Atty. I did this time because I had a feeling that I would not be able to keep my job. Now I could kick myself because they are getting the majority of the money for doing nothing! They have ignored my requests for a printout of the time they spent on each part of my case.
What a rip-off! I did not even get an Atty to work with, only a WC Admin. who does not seem to give a flip if you get what you need or not! They are taking 30% of the Lump Sum Buy-Out and 10% of the training buy-out! I tecnically qualified for up to 12 months of re-trainig but because this woman decides I don't need it, she gets to decide this! I on the other hand lost my job, future earnings, future retirement. Accrued an extra 20K in CC debt in the past 7 months, so I end up with less than half a years wages and can't qualify for any job really, based on my FCE. Yet, the lady with the re-trainig program decided I have too many marketable skills and can get another job just like the one I had because she says the FCE said I could not go back to MY Previous JOB, but I can go back to work for another employer doing the same thing!!! I am ripping my hair out at these people!!! I worked at my job for more than 30 years. I'm 54 and have never done anything else. My work is very specialized and yes I am very good at the job i did, but my skills don't transfer to any other type of work. I've done months of research and showed this all to her, and showed her what kid of training I would need to get a similar paying position that would meet my doctor's list of permanent dissabilities, which are many. Plus I am on Fentanyl patches, Lyrica, Tramadol, Soma, Restoril, Nuvigil, Akbuterol, Allergy Meds, etc. I could not even pass a drug test! The WC Ins. Co. would not open my past back injury case because the MRI showed no remarkable worsening. But they compared the new MRI to the one before my back surgery (Micro-dissection on 2 levels)! So the surgery failed and i am back where I started before I had surgery! Then the MD said the previous surgeon did a "rape job" on my back! The surgeon who performed the "rape job" wouldn't own up to his lousy work and said all my sciatic pain, leg weakness and foot drop are due to MS since I have three family members with it. I then had brain, cervical and thorasic MRI's and took them to a Neuro doc who acted like I was wasting his time! I need more treatment for my back and leg pain. I have to use a cane and a brace for the foot drop. The FCE said I could sit, stand, walk, kneel, bend occaisionally, but could lift up to 38 pounds - but only occaisionally. My job requires constant standing, walking, twisting, kneeling, bending and sometimes cpnstant sitting. Lifting 10 - 50 pounds constantly to occaisionally.
This injury has really damaged my daily quality of life, can't sleep any more, no physical contact with my spouse, can't do much housework or yardwork. Can't walk around the block, no hiking, no bike riding, no horse-back riding. Nothing thqt I used to be able to do. The rating MD didn't give me any points or mention this at all, and said I only had to use a cane outside. He passed over the leg and foot drop issues as MS also. Out of a 10% rating he apportioned 10% to my last surgery which failed!
I want to contest this, but I know my attorney won't support it, they said so. Can I refuse to sign the papers?? I know I could pay for a re-do of the rating, but I don't have much faith the outcome would be any better.
I have already started to sell belongings in order to pay bills, but no one is offering much for used items in this economy. I have applied at a few jobs I thought I could do and I was very qualified for. I did not get them. I am so depressed and have been since my first injury in 2006. I am thinking about re-opening my neck case because I have started having a lot of trouble with fine motor skills, severe neck pain and arm and hand numbness. The problem is that the last cervical MRI I had only showed a slight bulging in a few other discs below the fusion I had at C6-7 and C7-T1. Since I have to pay almost 900.00 to try to re-open the case I don't know if it's worth it. I also need a really sharp MS specialist to look at my Brain and Cervical MRI's, I just can't find any in my area. I know 20% of people with MS never have lesions, and that most MRI machines are not sensitive enough to pick up small or older lesions. I am desperate to find some answers! Any advice would be appreciated!!

Yhank you!


  • I don't know the law, but it sounds as though you made some choices that you wish you had not and you are emotional about how things turned out. You could always talk to another attorney, as this one already seemed to get what they want and don't wish to work on this particular case anymore. Maybe it was more time consuming than they anticipated, or it could be any number of reasons why they don't support you contesting the outcome. In any event, it is your future at stake and you need to do what's right for you. If it were me, I would try to clear my mind on an emotional level while weeding out what I have learned and go from there. I made some poor choices when trying to decide something major when I let my emotions get in the way.
  • and to make things worse, my spouse is very upset with me. I was trying to do the right thing. He is neaing retirement age and naturally doesn't want to work forever.
    I have a few very expensive belongings that give me great pleasure that I will now have to give up to help pay down our debt. I am able to get around in the out-of-doors and get some needed exercise with them. They are my only true enjoyment in life. If I give them up I will never be the same. Now I have to give them up because keeping them is very expensive. If there was something I could use to put in their place it would not be so hard. Oh well, such is life
  • Do you have copies of all the medical records and that includes chart notes? You need to see what all of that says and why they are basing their decision on? First off a FCE is not the determine all. It is no small secret rating someone on a 4 hour test has nothing to do with someone working a 8 hr 5 day a week job, at the least. If you have hired a attorney and you don't feel they are doing the right thing in your case, you need to be polite and direct to the point but send a letter to owner of the firm. The question is, do you have MS for sure? What type of treatments are you receiving for the MS. If a doctor outside says you don't have MS and they will not treat you for it, then it can't be the diagnoses. Most doctors will except the MRI as having MS or not? The question is can anyone say with medical certainly that you have MS?

    You don't have to sign anything. If you don't feel it is right just say NO, your not signing it. There is nothing anyone can do to you at this point and time. You have already lost your job this is connected to. It is not like they can add to your employment file post termination. More than likely no company would do it either for what could happen to them for doing it.

    On the FCE I am not sure how much weight you lifted or how long you sat or what they even tested you on. But of course the test would have been job specific. One thing to consider is it sounds as though you could go back to work with the retraining. Many states under the work comp laws don't have to provide any retraining. So if the money you got could you take that pay for the retraining to get yourself back in the work force. I am a firm believer that no one would ever want to get involved in a work comp case and would have better coverage and treatment in a private policy. But that is done and you can't change the facts. The only thing you can do is look at your options. One not sign the agreement. Secondly contact the owner of the firm and make your feelings known and how you don't feel the attorney is going to work for you. You need to look at the cost of the retraining you need and add it into the settlement amount so you have your injury money plus the amount you will need for the retraining. Many people always think they are going to make a lot of money off work comp and that is just not true. But in the law you can't come out better had the injury never happened. But the law is there to compensate you for the injury you have and to make you whole. Unfortunately most states you will find cases that their supreme courts have ruled there is no way under the work comp laws that a employee is ever made whole. Anyway that is my take and wish you well, but I see those as basically the only choices you have at this time. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Boy 30% is pretty high.
    I would tell the lawyer i dont want the retraining, just figure that monies in to the buy-out.

    I agree with tamtam, and yes you can refuse to sign anything.
    It's your future, and whatever they are offering, tell them it's not enough and go back to the table.

    Sooner or later i will be in the same position, but without the retraining part, as i was approved for SSD.
    Also if you do like tamtam say's and get a different lawyer, it Will Not cost you any extra. The lawyer's then go halvies with the 30%. So your lawyer will not be happy with that idea.
    So anyway hold that over lawyer's head, and stress the monies part is insufficent.

    Good luck to ya.
  • I did send a letter to the Attorney who owns the firm and I explained my dissatisfaction with the whole thing. I also requested an invoice of all the time the WC Administrator and her interns have spent on my case. I want to make sure they deserve to be paid this much. It says in my contract that I can get out of it, but that I then have to pay the Attorney 500/HR and the interns 110.00/hr.
    I guess my whole point is that I have not one person in this whole mess who acts like they are working in my best interest! I guess I should not be surprised at this.
    I am going this week to try and get copies of all my records from each doctor that I have seen. Has anyone had difficulty doing this? Couldn't a doctor just remove any papers that stated they thought I was trying to work the system?
    I had one MD who on the report that was sent back to the surgeon, said, " thank you for sending me this interesting patient".??? I don't know how I could have been interesting in any way since he spoke only 2 words to me during the test, and the test was of no consequence either! I have worked in the medical field over 30 years and I know how the test this MD did is usually done, and he did the test as if he was already certain of
    the outcome! When I told this to the surgeon he didn't have any comment as I suspected. Kept saying I had MS and there was nothing else he could do for me. So I had my attorney request a change in physicians. When the second surgeon met me for the first time he was all gung-ho about the damage the other surgeon did, etc., then, low and behold! On the second meeting it was a complete turn around! He said he couldn't do anything for me either.

    One thing that has really struck me since I have lived in this state is how bad the health
    care system is. Even if you have insurance you get treated like a second class citizen! Even my own PCP refused to fill out ADA papers for me. I said, "all I want is a stool to sit on once in a while.". He said," no, I don't want to get involved in anything like those legal issues.".
    I tried many WC attorneys before I found this one who would even represent me, so I thought I was fortunate. I certainly will not be using them again.
  • and as long as you are taking your medication as prescribed and you are taking is because you are in PAIN ..its no bodies business .back pain is not far off cancer pain {my doctors words} i am taking about real back pain ..not just a pulled muscle and a hot shower fixed it type pain ..i mean real keep you up in the night can't function pain ..
    you mum and dad have the problem NOT YOU .they should sup[port you not ridicule you
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I believe Las Vegas is a strong union city.
    By chance are you in a union?
    If so they should be able to help you find a different lawyer who will represent you better, if you want a different consulation.
  • I worked at a community hospital. My position was covered under the SEIU bargaing agreements, but I was not a member. People I worked with who were members were always complaining about the union not representing them with issues they were involved in with the employer. I would ask them," Why do you continue to throw your money to a group who obviously doesn't care about you"? Many employees there quit the union for just that reason. The unions have become like a huge government entity with lobbyists who are buying off politicians to get what they want.
    If I had wanted union representation for my case I would have had to pay them for their time. Some of the attorneys I have heard about here in Las Vegas are no better.
    I am already selling off belongings just to get my property taxes, auto, and HO insurance paid. Anything I get leftover from the attorney after they take their chunk will have to go towards credit card bills.
    I am filing a complaint with the state and federal EOC against my employer, but that's all I can say about that.
  • TWH I would postpone signing this week. I would tell your lawyer that you are not doing anything until they respond to your request for a detail statement.

    As far as the doctors cooperation...I'm dealing with the same problem in NY. My regular neurologists office is the only one who will fill out any paperwork. SSD just sent out their forms and my neuro-opthamologists office called to tell me that they will not fill it out!! My pcp will not do anything at all and my orthopedist is the same.

    I think my problem is that I use reputable doctors who make enough money just seeing patients. Many times I have been tempted to go to a disability-mill doctor who will say anything you want. I know someone who used one of these docs and they had full SS disability in two months.

    My advice is to take your time and don't rush into signing anything. Remember the lawyer doesn't get anything until you sign so you have leverage. Hope it goes well for you.
  • Yes, I was giving them till today to respond and I have not heard anything. So I will call and tell them just that. I had hoped the head of the firm who I sent a request to would have at least called. So shame on him. I told him what I really need is the monthly payment, not the buy-out. I am in the process of locating a really good neurologist to see if I do have MS. If i have to pay for it myself i will try to find a way. If a spinal then so be it. I have been having a lot of trouble with fine motor control. It is really bad if I have to spend any length of time typing, writing or just holding a book. I have lost control of beverages and am starting to have difficulty with zippers and buttons. I need an EMG test on my arms and hands as well as a second on the leg for the foot drop issue. Since I am on my husbands POS insurance I can go out of network if necessary. If it's not MS then I will re-open my neck and other back case. If it is MS I need to start on treatment for that asap. Damage is being done and no one but me seems to give a d- - -!
    it's really crappy your Neuro won't fill out your papers! What do you do then? Like you said, go to one of these mills.
    My neighbors wife has MS and she was not diagnosed till late 60's. They filed without an attorney and she got SSDI within six months.
    When I went to see my PCP the other day he started telling me of all his woes as they have cut his pay twice and they get nothing for an office visit. He is a very caring MD. I told him he should get out from the hospital I worked for and start his own practice. He said with the cuts in Medicare (30%) this year he will have to turn away the majority of his patients. He sounded very disheartend. He says the hospital won't let him admit patients there either. I told him about me seein my new Endocrinologist and that they do not take my insurance, so I am paying cash. It is not that bad. only 195 for the first visit and 95/visit thereafter. I think it would be better if we went back to the way it was 30 years ago when you only got major medical insurance and paid for your regular visits. Anyway......I could go on for hours. Thank you guys so much for responding and letting me bloviate.
  • Hi TW,

    I hope you didn't sign those papers this week. I strongly encourage you to first get a diagnoses before doing anything. It is true if they are suspecting MS you will have to get that treatment and diagnoses on your own. There are a few here whom have had to disprove the MS diagnoses first before a doctor would continue on with them. One of the biggest issues I see with the whole work comp/private injury issues is, you can't break a body in parts and diagnose it. Typically the private doctors will say that is work comp can't touch it, and the work comp doctors will say that is private can't touch it. The best thing that ever happened to me was work comp refusing anymore care so a doctor could look at me as a whole person. While it did come back to my spine, they can work the whole mess out in court, but I couldn't afford to keep getting worse and the obvious with the depression from not knowing. It is not that any of the doctors are bad doctors it is the system that is involved that causes so many issues.

    I am sure you have run into the issue of doctors whom don't want to get in legal issues, and honestly they shouldn't have to. I have always found it interesting a insurance company or even work comp trust a doctor to diagnose someone but then wants to argue them and drag them out in a court or depo's. If their written opinion isn't trusted then they shouldn't be approving them. Doctors have enough on their plates with the cuts they are taking let alone to be forced now to defend the diagnoses they have made. Which is why I think you see so many doctors not wanting to get involved in stuff, as there will be tons of paper work behind they need to fill out.

    Anyway I think your doing the right thing by getting the diagnoses of MS resolved one way or the other. You know if work comp is refusing you anymore care, just get a letter in writing stating such and off you go. There will be no more issues with any doctors. The bills just go in your private care and let the courts figure it out. What is important is your health care and getting to the bottom of what is wrong.
  • Whatever happened from your previous post? You were turned over to some company to reevaluate you? They were tied into WC and sounded like they were involved in rehab?

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