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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation Botched Surgery Multiple States

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: North Carolina

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: North Carolina
    I am a remote employee of an engineering company in Wisconsin, however I reside in North Carolina. I was injured while doing a short term job in California.

    While working at a factory in California I ripped my bicep from the bone on the Distal end near the elbow. I reported it via an emailed daily report to my company that same evening. I was sent an injury report form from my HR rep and was told to report to a specific urgent care there locally in California the next morning. I filled out the form and went to the appointment at the Urgent care. I received xrays and was told that they were referring me to ortho for an MRI. There was then some questions or confusion because it was now unknown where I would be going for further treatment, Wisconsin, California, or North Carolina. It was decided that I would fly back to North Carolina and start over there. I flew back to North Carolina and was told to go to the local urgent care in town where I live. I again was referred to Ortho for an MRI. I was told to wait for an appointment location and appointment time by the workers comp insurance company. It took a couple of weeks to get an Ortho appointment and it was an hour away but I went to the appointment. I thought I would be getting an MRI at this appointment but it was just a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon who again referred me to get an MRI. I was again told to wait for a location and time for an appointment. After approximately 34 days after the incident I received an MRI in a different town and then had a follow up with the same Orthopedic surgeon that I initially saw.

    The surgeon said that I tore my distal bicep tendon nearly completely and he recommended surgery immediately. He told me that surgery should have taken place within 3-5 days after the incident. He set up my surgery and did all the phone work with the insurance company and surgery took place later that same week.

    According to the surgeon there was a lot of scar tissue due to healing over the 34 days since the incident and during the extensive cutting he accidentally cut an artery. He repaired the artery the best he could but I still had no circulation in my arm. He called in a vascular surgeon to assist and went out to talk to my wife. My wife was given the choice to abort the surgery and live with the weakness in the arm but having full mobility or to continue with the surgery and have strength but a loss of strength and mobility up to 20-30 percent. My wife chose to continue with the surgery. After the surgery I was immediately admitted to the local hospitals vascular surgery department where it was found that I had a blood clot which was blocking blood flow to the arm from the elbow down. I was brought into surgery again with their vascular surgeon where he reopened the original wound and repaired the artery and removed the clot.

    I am now home recovering. Instead of taking the workers comp pay I asked to use up my sick days and vacation as much as possible because my pay is substantially higher than their max weekly payout. Iím limited to about four or five weeks before I will have to go on workers comp pay.

    I will be disabled somewhat to what I was before and that is very evident even right now. I donít know yet for sure if I will be able to go back to work or not since this is only my second week out so far but itís likely that I will not be able to continue unless they modify my position.

    My main questions are, is there a case for malpractice for the artery being cut and causing a second surgery?
    Is there any case for how long the workers comp insurance company took to get the MRI which caused large amounts of scar tissue?
    Is there any area of this case that I should be looking at someone having liability that I might be missing?
    Any other advice to insure my financial security in this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,718

    Default Re: Botched Surgery Multiple States

    Regarding the cut artery:

    the basis to determine malpractice is whether he treatment received was within the acceptable standards of care. I would suspect the cut artery was a possible issue and as such wouldn’t be malpractice unless the surgeons actions were outside the standards of care (in other words, negligent). Given the very minor expanation, it sounds like it may have been an unavoidable error. That determination would have to be made by a medical professional who can review your records.


    How was the employer at fault for the delay to obtain the MRI? Your post didn’t seem to put any blame on the employer for anything. You said there was a discussion regarding where you would obtain treatment. It’s also unknown if the first doctor stated there was anu urgency. Given not all injuries are made worse with a delay such as experienced, it’s even clear as to whether the employer knew time was of the essence. Why didn’t you simply remain in California until whether knowing if immediate treatment was needed?

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