Visitor Question

Cervical Fusion Malfunction…

Submitted By: Jeffery (Dickson, TN)

I had a cervical fusion malfunction. The fusion has never healed and I was released with the doctors stating all was intact. Plus I had a chronic cervical strain to the L1 and T1 cervical area that damaged more.

I was neglected medical attention because of the initial claim denial by my employer…UNTIL the Tennessee Department of Labor stepped in and found it to be a covered injury. The Administrative Boards demanded a panel list of doctors to fix this issue and lifted the Statute of Limitations until I reach MMI (maximum medical improvement).

Is there a Malpractice lawsuit here, or a separate lawsuit against my employer for denying the claim causing further medical problems?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Jeffery,

From the facts you present there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of medical malpractice. The delay in your surgery apparently wasn’t the fault of the doctors. It appears you are referring to the chronic cervical strain to the L1 and T1 cervical area. Chronic strain isn’t really an “injury” unless you have evidence to support a finding that someone caused you to have that chronic strain.

Unless you can show your employer’s decision to deny you medical care resulted in a chronic cervical strain you will have a difficult time of prevailing in any independent action against your employer. Because of the Workmans Compensation statutes, unless you can show your employer acted recklessly or criminally, you will be confined to the workmans compensation system and its parameters.

For you to recover a higher amount you will have to be able to show the delay in your treatment exacerbated the injury, or the delay caused a new injury to occur. If you think you have enough proof to support those theories then you may have a relatively good chance of recovering additional compensation.

You won’t though be able to sue your employer separately. Because you were covered with your employer’s workmans compensation insurance your options are limited to the workmans compensation system.

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

Best of luck,

Published: November 5, 2011

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