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Slow Injury at work.... Michigan

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  • Slow Injury at work.... Michigan

    I have a bad back over the past 35 years. My doctor has asked me to quit my job in 2006 before I get further damage. For financial reasons I did not and can not. He wrote a restriction note for my employer and it is on file. He wrote it in 2006. Now in 2010 I still work and do my best. I do things that my doctor does not want me to do that are on the list of things not to do, like climb ladders.
    My back now is getting real bad, I can not stand the pain from the nerve damage, and to work more than 30 mins, but I still go to work each day and work 30 hours a week.
    Do I have a very good chance to get Workman's Comp? Is doing the things restricted by my Doctor screwed me up? What can I do to insure I get Workman's Comp.
    Thanks for reading this.

  • #2
    Go to your employer and file a worker's comp claim. You can file for any injury that is aggravated by your work.

    You're not doing yourself or your employer any good by going to work and further damaging your back. As you probably already know, you are possibly facing a lifetime of pain if you continue.


    • #3
      We don't know if you will receive worker's compensation or not as we don't know the cause of your work injury, i.e. whether it was caused by your job, whether you have a congenital problem that was aggravated by your job, or whether your job has nothing to do with this.

      If you/your doctor feel that your job is the cause or has aggravated a pre-existing condition, then your first stop is to file a W.C. claim with your employer. Their W.C. insurance carrier will investigate the claim and make a determination whether they are liable. If they deny the claim, you are free to file an appeal with the State if medical evidence supports the claim.
      Last edited by Beth3; 04-21-2010, 09:08 AM. Reason: typo


      • #4
        Thank you for writing to me.

        My condition is Spinal Degeneration moderate to severe, Spinal stenosis (3 places, one is T-3), Disc herniation (L4-L5), and nerve damage in both arms and legs with weakness in both arms. My legs are begining to get weak now too as I was told by Doctors would happen.

        My first injury was when I was 8 years old and the second was when I was 20 years old. At 20 years old I filed a Comp's claim at work when I fell at work, but lack of evidence it did not go through. At the time I did not know about the laws as I know now and screwed myself up by not telling anyone at work I fell until it was too late. Even the person that saw me fall said they did not see me fall.... water under the bridge.

        And now I am in great pain from doing a job to as we all do bills. I hurt, scared, and will see a local Attorney this week or next. I am 55 and can not do things I enjoy anymore and tired of the pain!

        Thanks for your help..... Thanks a bunch people!!!


        • #5
          I'm not sure why you feel the need to see an attorney,at this point, it seems a little premature.

          You need to file a worker's comp claim with your employer and see how that goes first. Do you think you need the added expense of an attorney right now?


          • #6
            Generally speaking, your employER takes you "as is" upon hire.
            When there is injury at work, either specific onset, or CT/Cumulative Trauma... as you are claiming, you file the first report of injury claim with your ER. The ER is required to file with the comp carrier.

            The problem you have now however, is that your Dr 'note' is on file with your ER. Those restrictions are for your best interests so you don't perform those tasks that likely will cause your condition to worsen, even if over time, or that your job duties would 'aggreviate' that condition. The arguement is, you knew about this, yet went against your Dr recommendations in your daily activities. Those restrictions are on you, not your ER, or job duties. As such, you are charged with not performing those tasks outside the restrictions.
            IMHO, you would fare better here if you had requested reasonable accommodation under ADA/EEOC. Ergonomic provisions, ie. keyboard, chair, rest periods etc, would/could fall under accommodations to your Dr' restrictions.

            There may be some exceptions based on your DDD/aging process.
            What if the work is only one of the causes of an injury?
            The work does not have to be the only cause. It is enough if the work causes, contributes to, or aggravates a condition which results in disability. Some of us can lift 200 pounds without any difficulty. Some of us, however, would severely hurt our back if we lifted 100 pounds. The law does not make this distinction. If a person does something at work that causes him or her to become disabled, the worker is entitled to benefits. It does not matter if there was some pre-existing weakness or if the worker was born with some condition that made him or her more susceptible to injury. This is an old principle of law that has been applied by the courts to all kinds of damage actions, including workers' compensation.

            There are some special rules for certain conditions. In cases of heart disease, mental disabilities, and conditions of the aging process, the worker must prove that the employment aggravated or accelerated the condition in a significant manner. In cases of mental disability, the condition must be caused by actual events of employment. A worker is not entitled to benefits if he or she simply imagined something at work which caused the disability.

            There is info here on the benefits available under the MI WC Act.

            WC laws are state specific, and vary widly.
            More here

            As provided here, all you can do is file the claim, it will be investigated. You should be prepared for a denial however. And, the potential of litigation exsists if you intend to dispute the denial.
            Nearly everything in WC is based on medical evidence, and the opinions of your treating physicians. The ER/IC is entitled to evaluation by their IMEs too.

            The FAQ's here,1607,7...10---F,00.html will help with navigating the claims process, as well as help define what benefits you may be eligible for...
            How is the doctor chosen?
            During the first ten days of treatment the employer has the right to choose the doctor. After that the worker is free to change doctors if he or she so desires. The worker, however, must notify the employer of the change.
            What can I do to insure I get Workman's Comp.
            Workers compensation is not 'health coverage' for you, the employee. WC covers your employer for their liability to industrial injury/illness.
            ?...what do you think will be the benefit to you in filing this claim ?
            The benefits don't go on forever. Comp is intended to provide treatment to your injury, wage replacement while you recover to a stable condition/MMI. And return to work services and/or wage differential if you qualify. Only if you are declared 100% disabled under the WC rules and definition would you receive a "retirement" benefit.

            Good luck to you. It's difficult to claim your condition is due to your job when you have performed those tasks you know are going to result in damage/injury to your person.

            You might want to consider application for SSDI benefits now, That process can be time


            • #7
              First of all, the employee must initiate the injury claim. The fact that his primary physician wrote a note in 2006 doesn't mean much unless the worker's comp claim was initiated at that time and his primary was the designated WC physician.

              Here's what it states on the Michigan worker's comp site provided by the previous poster:

              "Workers’ compensation is “no fault” in the sense that benefits are paid without regard to who or what caused or contributed to an injury or illness that “arises out of, or in the course of, employment.” Before this insurance system was established, an employer could be sued for negligence and could only defend himself/herself against such lawsuits by proving that the employee was at least partially at fault, that a fellow employee contributed to the injury, or that the employee assumed the risk of potential injury by accepting the job."


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