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  • denied claim North Carolina

    i have recently filed a claim for an injury I thought was caused while working.
    I am a processing assistant and i work for the state of NC. My job requires dealing not only with computer but lots of paper work. I have to use a stapler often and most of the one that I have used hardly ever worked. i never attempted to request a electric one because you have to have an approval. That have led me to use my right hand to hit the stapler the majority of the time. In 2006 I went to my orthopaedic due to a problem with one of the right finger. They couldn't find anything and so they sent me to a hand specialist. the doctor give me a shot of cortisone and that worked for six month. I then had to go back because the swelling had started on my palm. Well, I had x ray, MRI and no bone disease showed. So, he finally suggested surgery.

    Thereafter i had to undergo therapy. When i got back from surgery I then suggested an electrice stapler. I was told that without a doctor order I couldn't. So, i did. I was advised by my supervisor to file a claim since the injury was during working. I did. And was denied. I again was advised to appeal. But I am tired of fighting and I feel that is probably a waste of time.
    Please advise.

  • #2
    Did you injure the finger while working? What did your doctor say was the cause a year or more ago? I'm not sure how hitting a stapler with your hand causes a finger injury.

    Honestly, a year later and post surgery you have a very uphill battle at best to make a claim for this. Not to mention the fact that it isn't clear that work is what caused the injury. Who keeps telling you to file the claim and appeal this?
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      denied claim

      It all started with the finger hurting. I was given a shot. Then the finger and the palm started swelling. The hand specialist give me another shot. Six month later I went back because the swelling had come back. His diagnose was:trauma. And since nothing showe in the xray and MRI he asked what kind of job I do. It was when I described him what I do in a daily base that he came to that conclusion. In fact I do remember hitting it and it hurt for awhile and then it went away.

      I guess I cannot believe that since nothing showed that my finger and then my palm would swell for no reason.

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      • #4
        A couple of suggestions.
        One you mentioned "hitting" the stapler. A lot of people whack the stapler rather than merely pushing it down hard. I did that and realized it was jarring my hand. Try using steady force rather than a whack.

        On the other hand, electric staplers are about $40. If the company wont buy one for you, consider buying your own. Maybe they should buy it but if they wont, why suffer when you dont have to?
        I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
        Thomas Jefferson

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        • #5
          denied claim

          I have many,many times replaced the ones that I had. They worked for awhile and then there I was again: searching. I had to: since I had no other alternative. Yes, I could have bought my own but I didn't and I knew that they weren't going to unless I had doctors orders. It took pains and suffering and then surgery for them to finally give me one. And EVEN after surgery they refused till I had a piece of paper to give them with my doctor signature.

          Again, the claim people are probably right. I should have known better. So, I have no cause and now I am out of 600.00 dollars for all the doctor bills.
          thanks. Basically because A and B and C didn't have the same issue it seems that it wasn't job related. If someone else comes with the same problem, then maybe then I stand a chance of making them see that they need to provide the employees with better tools in order to do their job.

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          • #6
            Let me ask you this; when did your doctor tell you it was related to your job? I ask for a reason. You are still going to have an uphill battle as WC very much frowns upon employees waiting until after they have had the surgery and have healed to suddenly file a claim but depending upon when you were first made aware that it was possibly because of the stapler at work, you may or may not be under the statute of limitations.

            FYI, it is a best practice for companies to require a doctor's note when an employee makes a request for medical reasons. There is nothing unusual or improper about that.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

            Comment


            • #7
              denied claim

              Well, the doctor couldn't figure out exactly why, then. I was asked numerous times if I remember hitting it anywhere. NO. NO.They said that since my palm was swollen the injury was probably caused by hitting on something and therefore was traumatized. The finger was the beginning of the injury.
              I never once thought of filing a claims because I was going trough all kinds of test to figure out the cause. I asked and asked and asked till I was bleu in the face. WHY? WHY? Also I didn't want to assume anything. The entire issue has puzzled the doctors and me and now I feel like I am trying to cheat my job just by having filed a claim. Was it justified? I don't know.
              Hitting the stapler was the only time that I remember my hand starting hurting afterwards. I don't know what else to think.
              Also I am perfectly aware that a doctors order is necessary when requesting some job tools. However, I had thought about requesting an electric stapler way before all this started. Maybe if I was given one I wouldn't have to go trough all this.

              The end of this? The doctor told me that my hand will never be completely the same. And time and age will definetely have an impact on the healing process. :-(

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=Mamie;897253]Also I am perfectly aware that a doctors order is necessary when requesting some job tools. However, I had thought about requesting an electric stapler way before all this started. Maybe if I was given one I wouldn't have to go trough all this.
                QUOTE]

                Then you should have requested one then. Your employer isn't responsible for anticipating what in retrospect you might have done differently. You know better than they what is happening with your health.

                At some point your doctor must have mentioned that this was all the result of the incident with hitting the stapler. When was that? If your doctor has never come to this conclusion, you really don't have a prayer of getting this covered under WC. A one time incident from which you had a long lapse of symptoms is also going to be nearly impossible to defend. Had you filed a claim way back when you first felt the pain from hitting the stapler, you'd be in a slightly better position.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                Comment


                • #9
                  denied claim

                  Thanks for your honesty. I appreciate that.
                  But NO they wouldn't have. ONLY if the doctors had detemined that it was needed for medical reason. And back then they weren't sure why I had those symptoms. They were still trying to figure it out.
                  And also couldn't have filed, again because even though the doctors did say that IT could have been the hitting the stapler that caused those symptoms, he never DID seemed certain of it.
                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm not sure where the fault with the employer lies if even your doctor wasn't sure what caused this and didn't state an electric stapler was necessary. Hindsight is 20/20 but if your doctor didn't recommend it in writing back when, there was no reason, let alone obligation, to provide something else.

                    If your doctor is only offering this stapler incident as one possible explanation, your chances of getting it covered are nil at best. Sorry.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mamie View Post
                      Hitting the stapler was the only time that I remember my hand starting hurting afterwards. I don't know what else to think.
                      I'm probably going to catch some flak for this, but I'm going to ask anyway...

                      Why, if your hand began hurting every time after hitting the stapler, would you keep on doing it? Did you at least switch hands when it started hurting?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JulieBean View Post
                        I'm probably going to catch some flak for this, but I'm going to ask anyway...

                        Why, if your hand began hurting every time after hitting the stapler, would you keep on doing it? Did you at least switch hands when it started hurting?
                        Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this (raising arms high over head).
                        Doctor: Then don't do that any more.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Julie B- Patti MD.

                          You might find hard to believe this but there are others that often complain about this and that. I didn't want to be one of those. It hurted, yes but I didn't think nothing of it and tried not to do it again. It hurt for awile but I felt that it would go away. I just needed to be more careful. I felt that there was no need for me to think that I needed medical assistance for that or for the off and on hurting. Took something for the pain and after that it was just repetive motions.

                          Laugh if you wish. Think of it weird, if you wish. AGAIN, I didn't think nothing of it till the end and by then the finger and palm started swelling.
                          It doesn't matter. I had surgery. I am not hurting now and all that is history. If WC didn't think my claim was legitimate, I have to accept that and go on.

                          NOW you can laugh!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Regardless if they accept your claim, or the employeer believes you need it. Would they let you provide your own electronic stapler? It may be worth the small expense to avoid the pain and future injury.

                            -Tim
                            Busy B Realty - Honey Run Apiaries

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                            • #15
                              Mamie, you have 2 years to file a work comp claim in NC, by submitting a Form 18 to the NC INdustrial Commission. You can only win if your doctor links the injury to something at work that caused the injury.

                              The doctor is not officially asked about causation until the post-hearing deposition, which is frequently more than 2 years after the incident.

                              Don't let the somewhat discouraging advice you are getting on this thread talk you out of filing the claim if you think hitting the stapler caused the injury. I doubt that your doctor has been asked the correct question yet, so you really don't know what he may say about causation. And the doctor does not have to be certain. Causation only has to be medically probable to carry the day in NC.

                              Go talk to a lawyer in your town who is listed as a Board Certified Specialist in workers comp law. The NC State Bar web site has a list of them on it.

                              Good luck.

                              Bob Bollinger, Board Certified Specialist in NC Work Comp Law, Charlotte NC
                              Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                              Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                              Charlotte, NC

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