Cut Off from Workers Comp Benefits...

by Bill

I am a Doctor of Chiropractic and was injured at my practice in December 2008. I was helping a patient off the table when they started to fall, the patient grabbed me around the neck and my neck and shoulders was severely injured.

I've been receiving workers comp payments for 2 yrs. I saw all their doctors and was on so much pain medication I was becoming very ill and having severe side effects from all the meds. I started talking to the doctors about trying to get off so many pain meds.

Workers comp wanted to discuss a settlement with me but I was unable to keep the appointment due to being admitted to the hospital on June 25th for severe dizziness, I was unable to focus my eyes and had severe hypertension. I called to tell them I was in the hospital and would not be able to make my appointment with them.

I had to have eye surgery for a detached retina, and at this time I am considered legally blind. I tried to reschedule the appointment with workers comp but was denied and cut off from my workers comp benefits as of July 1, 2011.

Workers comp stated there was nothing wrong with me because I was no longer taking pain medications. My workers comp representative stated there was nothing she could do to help me. What do I do now?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Cut Off from Workers Comp Benefits...":

Bill (Michigan):

The first very apparent problem is the Statute of Limitations period. Regrettably the limitations period has expired. As you know the Statute of Limitations is the legal reference to the time period which commences from the onset of the injury, and at least in the state of Michigan, continues for 2 years.

During that time an injured person must either settle their claim or file suit. The two year period “tolls,” or becomes extended indefinitely as long as a lawsuit is filed within the statutory 2 year period. If the dates you present are accurate you have forfeited your legal right to file suit to obtain additional funds from the Workmans Compensation insurance.

We might suggest you speak with the employer for whom you worked at the time of the injury. Although your legal right to file suit has expired your employer retains a business relationship with the insurance company. They may intercede on your behalf.

The only remaining recourse you might consider is a “bad faith” decision made by the Workmans Compensation insurance representative. You would have to present some evidence of misrepresentation, deceit, or any other bad faith action you believe they presented.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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