Still temporarily disabled after 4 years?
(Anahiem, CA, USA)
I was injured on the job moving tables at the high school district in June of 2010. They admitted fault. I tore my labrum and had other injuries to my left shoulder, and I've had 1 surgery so far. I won a case against the school district and received future medical coverage for my left shoulder.
I have dealt with 4 different doctors for the past 4 years (worker's comp keeps making me change doctors). They all agree I am partially disabled and have not allowed me to return to work. They all have said I need another surgery on my left shoulder, and now my right shoulder and neck are being affected by my initial injury.
I am making no income and i am not allowed to work due to my many restrictions. Both shoulders are causing me pain, inability to sit still for long due to pain, inability to walk to much, constant and stabbing pain, etc.
I have been jumping through legal hoops for a long time and finally see that the system designed to help me recover is failing me and making me worse.
The workers' compensation insurance company keeps denying my surgery, needed on my left shoulder, and that has now caused problems with my right shoulder and neck due to overcompensation syndrome.
Is there any legal action I can take against them to help me? It's been over 2 years of denials and forced doctor changes. Can I sue or do something about past and future pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life due to my injuries? Can I sue or do something about past and future lost wages and other financial benefits lost due to my disability from work?
Also, can I do something about the insurance company making me wait 1-3 weeks to approve my pain medication, which causes me more pain due to not having proper medication for the time in between? Any other information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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ANSWER for "Still temporarily disabled after 4 years?":
Martin (Anahiem, CA, USA)
Insurance companies do not like to give away their money. As a result, injured workers often become frustrated and overwhelmed with the entire workers' compensation system. It appears you are one of those unfortunate and frustrated workers.
Unfortunately, workers' comp laws in California prohibit pain and suffering compensation for injured workers.
It's difficult to understand why you aren't receiving any income. The only reasons I can think of are because you were terminated from your employment, or chose to resign. Only under those circumstances would you be denied ongoing wages in an amount of about two thirds of your income at the time you were injured.
Fortunately, you filed a timely workers' compensation claim. As a result, it's not too late to request an administrative hearing to determine the degree of disability and appropriate award for that disability.
At this point, your best option is to retain an experienced workers' compensation attorney. The attorney can intercede, while representing your best interests in an effort to secure your lost wages and an amount of future income, dependent upon the type and severity of your disability.
Most workers' comp attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather copies of your medical and chiropractic bills and records. Make several appointments with a few workers' comp attorneys in your area. After visiting with them, you'll have a much better understanding of the merits of your claim.
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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