Surgery for neck screws damages vocal cords...

by Dr. Duane
(Big Spring, Texas)

The bottom two screws in my neck are broken and they did surgery to correct it. In the surgery they did something to my right vocal cord and it is not working. I now have half the voice I previously had, and I am a chaplain so to preach is terrible.

I filed an injury claim with workers compensation and received a 22% impairment. But now they tell me I won't be getting any compensation for it? What should I do next? Do you know how payment works with workers comp? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Surgery for neck screws damages vocal cords...":

Dr. Duane (Big Spring, Texas):

If your workers compensation has been denied, your next step is to seek representation from an attorney who practices workers comp law. You shouldn't have to pay the attorney any money in advance. If your attorney is successful her fees will be paid separately by workers compensation.

You may also have a separate claim against the doctor who performed the surgery and the hospital where the surgery was performed.

In an independent medical malpractice lawsuit your compensation would be fairly unlimited. Because the doctor and the hospital are separate entities you will be able to seek compensation in an amount much greater than that you would receive in a workers comp award.

In your lawsuit your damages can be computed by multiplying your medical bills by a factor of anywhere from 1.5x to 3x or higher. That multiple represents your medical bills, out of pocket expenses such a prescription and over the counter medications, your lost wages, and an additional amount for pain and suffering.

You might see if the attorney who represents you in your workers comp case can also represent you in your independent lawsuits against the doctor and the hospital. Often attorneys who practice workers compensation law also practice personal injury law.

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

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Workers Compensation Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review: