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a question about WC Alabama

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  • a question about WC Alabama

    Here is a little background of what happened to my husband..

    In March of 2005, while working a construction job as a boilermaker, him and other workers were jacking up a piece of duct pipe that was as big as a house and my husband was doing some type of fitting work up under the duct pipe and he seen it starting to shift and told his foreman who in turn said that it was ok, to just finish the job..it did fall and husband ran out from under it because it would have killed him instantly had it fell on him...a beam that was loaded with about 80 lbs of scrap metal fell out and hit my husband in the lower back, then his left hip, ripping his pants, then in the back of his left leg...he was sent to 1st aid who bandaged it up and told him it was bruised..he was told to go on home adn to come back to the 1st aid each day before his shift so the areas could be re-bandaged...after a few days went by, husband told them that it was not getting any better and then they sent him to a doctor who also said that it was bruised...they would not lay him off at that time and he continued working for about 2 or 3 more weeks...after his lay off, he started drawing unemployment and was hoping that he would get better during this time since it was "only a bruised hip"...his unemployment ran out after a couple of months and then he went on another construction job for about 2 or 3 months...in the meantime, his hip and lower back was continually getting worse...he got laid off and started drawing pennies again...he contacted his job foreman of the job that he got hurt on and they put him through to their insurance carrier..was sent ot another doctor who did an xray and he also said that it was just a bruise..time marched on and he was still getting worse..he contacted insurance carrier again...they send him to another doctor who orders an MRI of his hip and it showed nothing...this doctor did not say that it was bruised though...he said that he felt like it was originating from his lower back and he referred him to a doctor who specializes in physical and rehabilitation...by this time, we have hired a lawyer...2 months later, he finally gets to see this physical and rehab dr. He just prescribes him physical therapy for 3 weeks and then he wants to see him back...he does not give him anything for pain or even says what he thinks is wrong...he has not had an MRI done of his back...My husband is getting worse with each passing day and we feel like we are being shunned and absolutely noone is helping us, not even the lawyer...We have never hired a lawyer for anything so this is all new to us..he has an appointment to talk with is lawyer on the phone in the morning...We do not care about winning any money over this...we just want him helped with whatever is wrong...I am watching my husband wilt and die before my very eyes...he was once so active and worked hard, but now he is bent over in pain and can hardly walk, sit, lay down or do anything...I feel so helpless with him...What else can we do if there is anything else? Is this one of those long drawed out things with a lawsuit? TIA for any replys..

  • #2
    It is very hard to advise you as you seem to be in need of more medical advice than WC advice. Not knowing what this doctor thinks it is or what the rx-rays, mri and tests showed, and not being a doctor, it is very hard to tell you what course to take. The fact that he continued to work for more than a year in a physically demanding job before reaching this point does complicate matters but not even knowing what those matters are, I really can't tell you much.

    If you are unhappy with the doctor selected you may request to see another one. The employer will select the treating physician at the time of the accident. If the employee is dissatisfied with the initial treating physician selected by the employer, and if further treatment is required, the employee may so advise the employer, and be entitled to select a second physician from a panel or list of four physicians selected by the employer. dir.alabama.gov/wc/benefits.aspx

    Right now, you are going to need to talk to the doctor. Ask what is going on, don't wait for the doctor to explain it to you. Ask about the diagnosis and treatment options. Tell him to be honest about how he feels and explainthe symptoms fully. Not to generalize too much, but I've had any number of male employees who fail to tell the doctor what is really going on and assume the doctor somehow knows. Remember the doctor didn't know him before the incident and lacks a crystal ball. You have to make sure the doctor knows the full story in order to get the best care possible.
    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


    • #3
      Thanks for replying...He did talk with his lawyer today and he told him to go apply for disability and that the 1st time that he applies, he will get denied..He said that when he got the papers in the mail saying that he was denied, he wanted us to send them to him asap.. I don't understand what this is about...my husband is not one to ask questions, but we have so many...He is about as hard-headed as they come..
      Lawyer also told him to go back to the doctor that referred him to this last dr and ask him to refer him to another dr...I really want ot go with him this time and ask lots of questions so maybe it will work out so I can go..

      Comment


      • #4
        If your husband won't ask questions, I would advise you to go along. I would advise you to not become argumentative or interfere with the exam. Sometimes that is hard to avoid, but it annoys the doctor and he may ask you to leave. It may help to bring a list of questions with you ahead of time. You might also ask about having a nurse case manager assigned.

        I assume by "disability" the lawyer means Social Security Disability. Does this attorney specialize in WC? I usually never contradict an attorney's advice but that would be an avenue recommended if WC were not covering the claim, or it had already settled. Since that is far fro mthe case, your husband should be covered under TTD if he is off work, and be looking at permanency awards, and or voc rehab if he isn't able to return and has reached his maximum medical improvement.
        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


        • #5
          Hmmm..here it is in April of 2007 and many doctors later and we are still stuck...he cannot work due to his condition and still no money from w/c..the lawyer that we had hired sent us a letter last week telling us that he was dropping this case as we had no evidence to prove our case..a bunch of hogwash..we are seeing a pain management doctor who was willing to testify in court that he is in severe pain and that he was very healthy before this accident...now we find out that the statute of limitations as run out as of this past March..I think it is very fishy that we get a letter from this lawyer just about 3 weeks after the 2 year mark...so now it looks like the w/c case is out the window...what in the world do we do now? Can I get this lawyer disbarred? He never once told us about the statute of limitations and how the law works...my husband was denied disability and the paperwork was sent to the lawyer and he did not appeal that claim either and he only had 60 days to do that...He did absolutely NOTHING since we hired him 8 months ago!!! There has to be something we can do..my husband is getting worse and worse healthwise and moneywise, we are also struggling...
          Oh yea, he still has not been diagnosed with anything other that a "little wear on his L-4 and sometimes it probably pops out of place most especially when he goes from sitting to standing position"..I know my husband and I know that there is something wrong with him and it might not have been very serious at first, but I believe that now, it is very serious and more than likely not fixable at this point..

          Comment


          • #6
            No you can't get the lawyer disbarred. It takes a LOT to get that to happen and receiving inadequate advice is not enough. Not to sound harsh but waiting until 8 months before the statute of limitations ran out didn't give the lawyer a lot to work with, neither did the absence of any objective findings to point to what is causing the pain. I hate to tell you but a doctor that didn't see him until after he was in pain isn't going to be able to testify to what he was like before he started treating.

            I'm not sure what to tell you about what is causing his pain but with no objective findings to account for it, and given that he worked for more than a year after the accident and is only off work because of a lay off, you were going to have an uphill battle to get either SSDI or WC. Going on a limb I'd suggest seeing a doctor about autoimmune disorders or other non-structural organic causes. One slipped disk would not cause the kind of symptoms he is experiencing and it doens't appear to be orthopedic in nature. I wish you luck.
            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

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