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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Do I Need A Lawyer

    hi i was hurt in oct. was sent to workers comp dr. was treated for 43 weeks as lower back strain and muscle pulls was told to rest and put on restricted duty.my job said they had no light duty was told to go home. ihave been getting paid just as if i was working paid every 2 weeks. after 43 weeks no better dr. send me for mri .mri showed ddd plus herniated disc at l4l5 and l5s1 plus some arthritis was sent to phys. therapy for 4 weeks made pain worst.was put out of work by dr. after 10th week was sent to pain management dr. suggested epidural injections. had 2 sets of injections
    with no relief.i'am be sent to surgeon on wed.i'am being treated fine by drs. was just wondering if they want to do surgery can i get a second opion on my own. without comp dr getting upset i see everyone on this forum talks about lawyers do you think i should obtain one even thou i have'nt had any problems yet

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do I Need A Lawyer

    Before any surgery always get a second opinion. It may be premature to retain an attorney but you may wnat to consult with one so that you know the law in your state.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: Do I Need A Lawyer

    Just a comment: Usually when a person gets to the point where they ask if they need a lawyer, if they're smart they realize that they have answered their own question.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Do I Need A Lawyer

    Quote Quoting 4eyedbuzzard
    View Post
    Just a comment: Usually when a person gets to the point where they ask if they need a lawyer, if they're smart they realize that they have answered their own question.
    I concour with 4eyedbuzzard. Find a good workman comp attorney and start a file with them(it should not cost you anything, cause they get paid at the settlement) this will also help you in the event that the companys insurance company decides to get crappy with you(which I can assure you they are planning) Really think long and hard about any back surgery options because as a Dr. Friend of mine once told me (because I am in the same condtion as you), "You aren't on crutches, or in a wheel chair, I wouldn't do that surgery!" Surgery should be a very last option becasue the procedure is absolutely life altering if they do a fusion!! And recovery is a long period(at least a year) and allot of the time it produces no benefit in regards to pain reduction or nerve damage. Esp. if it has been injured for any length of time. Example(from my Nuerosurgen, He likened the nerves that have been pinched by the disc rupture to garden hose that has a been 'kinked'. If you straighten it out right away then it will resume its original shape. But if its been pinched for any extended amount of time, then like the garden hose it will remain 'kinked'. so he told me that there was less than 18% chance of regeneration of full nerve function. So with those odds I decided against for myself. If you are just now being sent for an MRI after 43 weeks that would be the 'extended' garden hose kink time period. Also if this is your Dr (and not a company Dr.) any further Dr's that the company or insurer may want to send you to have your MRI's looked at for their version of a second opionon, Instead of submiting those films to the second Dr. Get the hospital Dr. who took the MRI to Write out their assesment of your MRI results(you will have to call that Dept. and give them a week or so to get it written) and ONLY submit those to the company/insurance Dr. that they have brought in for the '2nd op. The reason is: With the films, they can be interpeted a number of different ways, and any Dr. they will have is going to try to minimize the MRI films record. Whereas a written report of the what was witnessed by the MRI Dr. is not going to allow any phoney reports to be submitted by the opposing Company/insurance hired Dr. Hope that makes sense>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: Do I Need A Lawyer

    Quote Quoting Valentino Rossi
    View Post
    I concour with 4eyedbuzzard.
    Someone agrees with me?

    Yes, you can and should get a second opinion - and a lawyer.

    Find a good workman comp attorney and start a file with them(it should not cost you anything, cause they get paid at the settlement) this will also help you in the event that the companys insurance company decides to get crappy with you(which I can assure you they are planning) Really think long and hard about any back surgery options because as a Dr. Friend of mine once told me (because I am in the same condtion as you), "You aren't on crutches, or in a wheel chair, I wouldn't do that surgery!" Surgery should be a very last option becasue the procedure is absolutely life altering if they do a fusion!! And recovery is a long period(at least a year) and allot of the time it produces no benefit in regards to pain reduction or nerve damage. Esp. if it has been injured for any length of time. Example(from my Nuerosurgen, He likened the nerves that have been pinched by the disc rupture to garden hose that has a been 'kinked'. If you straighten it out right away then it will resume its original shape. But if its been pinched for any extended amount of time, then like the garden hose it will remain 'kinked'. so he told me that there was less than 18% chance of regeneration of full nerve function. So with those odds I decided against for myself. If you are just now being sent for an MRI after 43 weeks that would be the 'extended' garden hose kink time period. Also if this is your Dr (and not a company Dr.) any further Dr's that the company or insurer may want to send you to have your MRI's looked at for their version of a second opionon, Instead of submiting those films to the second Dr. Get the hospital Dr. who took the MRI to Write out their assesment of your MRI results(you will have to call that Dept. and give them a week or so to get it written) and ONLY submit those to the company/insurance Dr. that they have brought in for the '2nd op. The reason is: With the films, they can be interpeted a number of different ways, and any Dr. they will have is going to try to minimize the MRI films record. Whereas a written report of the what was witnessed by the MRI Dr. is not going to allow any phoney reports to be submitted by the opposing Company/insurance hired Dr. Hope that makes sense>
    I'll agree in return. And a good attorney will handle all of the medical and legal submissions, etc allowing you to concentrate on getting better and looking and re-training for employment within your restrictions. He/she will also try to make sure you get ALL the benfits for which you are eligible. Once you're out of work and collecting comp for any length of time over a few months, and definitely at 6 months to a year, it will start to get adversarial with the ins co. The insurance carrier is not your friend, they are in business for profit and every dollar of your claim comes out of that profit. Claims personnel are judged and rewarded to a great degree on how successfully they manage those claims and reduce the companies costs. And you're fooling yourself if you think you can out lawyer them yourself.

    Regarding surgery, there are no guarantees. Every case is unique and individual choices regarding sugical risk must be made by the patient. Just get as much info as you can before electing the surgical option.

    Many injuries are life altering, and no amount of surgery or treatment is going to change that. You just make the best of a bad situation and make the best reasonable treatment choices. I have had three injurys in the past 5 years to L3-L4 and L4-L5. My treatment has been LESI(steroid injections) and PT(physical therapy). We considered surgery, but both my orthopaedist/surgeon, physical therapist and I ruled it out. I regained most function and pain relief after the acute and very painful stages including partial leg paralysis at one point. We just found the possible benefit vs downside risk a bad bet. Now, I've had to come to terms with certain physical limitations, including some numbness, muscle atrophy, and minor ongoing pain, but I would have some yet undetermined symptoms/impairments after surgery as well. I can't run as fast anymore, or do things like ski big moguls, and I have to avoid jarring the back from impact events such as jumping, bumpy amusement rides, etc. And at 51, I'll never be able to meet the lifting requirements of any physically demanding job again, and I'd risk injury by doing so even with surgery. I was a maintenance electrician/instrument tech for 30 years. I always was heavily involved in the automation end, so I'm in vocational rehab, going back to school to pursue the less physicals aspects by training in systems engineering and networking. My sad tale...

    And BTW, in your case the 43 weeks of lower back strain is most probably BS(note your MRI and radiology say it's a herniated disc), but one they use and get away with all the time. They'll get an IME doctor to say it is "recurrent lumbar strain"(a soft tissue injury) to try to avoid paying a permanent impairment award, which is an additional lump sum payment to which you may be entitled. Again, get a lawyer.

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