Released back to work without restrictions but can't work?
On Jan 2nd 2015 I was battered by a patient of my employer. I was seen at the hospital and then told to go to a walk-in clinic on Saturday the 3rd. I did go but did not receive treatment, they just took a drug screen (it was negative, and I paid for it myself because the company wouldn't pay).
I was released back to work from the company doctor without maximum medical improvement (MMI) on 1/12/15. I still cannot hear out of my left ear nor see correctly out of my left eye. I met with my supervisor the same day and she says to return when I can see and hear correctly.
The Insurance Carrier assigned a case manager and I have appointments up until Feb 11, 2015 for seeing and hearing tests. The employer took me off the schedule and has since not put me back to work under any circumstances.
The Insurance Carrier has stopped any lost wage benefits because the Worker's Comp Doctor released me back to work on 1/12/14. He is a general MD at a walk-in clinic and I do not think he understands fully that I must operate a Motor Vehicle as part of my job. I feel he released me back to work "without restrictions" because he does a lot of business with my employer.
When asked, he says that the employer MUST take me back in a suitable position and make arrangements for my scheduled Worker's Comp appointments.
My question is, Who do I contact next? I am more concerned about the eyesight then the hearing loss at this point. The Eye Specialist appointment is 2/11/15 and I do not know if I can wait that long without benefits. Also, how can I get workers comp to continue benefits while I'm not able to work? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Released back to work without restrictions but can't work?":
Charlie (Ellenton, Florida):
The first problem is the physiological cause of your injury. From the facts you present, there is no indication of nerve damage, or other medically diagnosable injury which caused your ear to continue to bother you, or your eyesight to fade.
The Eye Specialist appointment is 2/11/15. At that time the doctor will hopefully be able to diagnose the type of injury you sustained, and the type and length of treatment you'll require.
At the same time, ask the insurance company to pay for a visit to a doctor of your own choosing. While the insurance company may not agree, you have nothing to lose by asking. If the insurance company refuses to pay for a visit to your own doctor, then have them send you to another company-approved physician. You have that right.
If that fails, seek the advice and counsel of a local workers' compensation attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. Bring along copies of all your medical records. After reviewing your case, the attorney will be better able to tell if your claim is a viable one.
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,
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