Where do we turn when surgery delays contribute to disability?
My husband was hurt in 2003 when a panel weighing 1035lbs was dropped on him crushing his ankle and his knee. He has undergone 8 surgeries and now needs a total knee replacement...he has been unstable from day 1 but of course no one cares. We have lost our case due to poor council and we were up against a huge corporation.
The problem I have is that 2 of these surgeries were held up. The 1st was held up for 20 months, when I finally wrote to the workers comp board begging them to please approve the surgery as his leg was getting worse and worse. It happened again a 2nd time where a surgery was held up for 16 months, and now they want to stop his benefits after much of the damage was caused by their inexcusable delays. Talk about corporate bullying.
Anyway, we are fighting to keep his benefits as his doctor believes he should get this for the rest of his life (in reality it's less than 25% of his salary). Over 10 years he has lost over $2 million dollars. Where does one turn for some sense of fair play? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Where do we turn when surgery delays contribute to disability?":
Maryann (Altamont, NY):
New York state workers compensation laws limit injured workers to filing claims with their workers comp insurance company. As you and your husband are painfully aware, workers comp benefits do not include payment for pain and suffering, also called emotional distress or mental anguish.
It appears one of your husband's doctors believes your husband has sustained a work related disability. If you aren't satisfied with the manner in which workers compensation is treating you, or the amount of money they are offering representing your husband's disability, you should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced workers comp attorney. An experienced attorney may be able to substantially increase any disability award the insurance company offers.
You won't have to pay any legal fees until, and unless your husband's attorney settles the workers comp claim, or wins or after an administrative hearing.
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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