T Nation

Worker's Comp Laws?


#1

My mom tore her meniscus at work. She's tried to contact the Worker's Comp people contracted through her work, but they have never picked up the fucking phone. Ever. We've faxed documents, left VMs for two different agents, everything. No response.

The two WC-approved doctors she saw were fucking idiots, too.

I am positive they're just trying to be unresponsive so that she gives up and they have one less case. We did get her case on file, but beyond that I haven't been able to contact anyone.

Now, I'd like to know if I have legal options to threaten them with. Don't they have an obligation to SOME degree to be available? Responsible? Accommodating? I don't know what the term would be, but they're just not doing their fucking job.

Yes, I see a list of WCAB regulations on the CA State site, but I don't know what section would contain info that would let me know what her rights are and what the company's obligations are. We've tried to have her HR contact them but still no luck. I'm guessing I might have to contact someone at the state gov level and ask them directly. Am I right?

I'm sending a nasty email to the VP of the NorCal branch of the WC company but I don't want to make empty threats.

Any ideas?


#2

Did you get a diagnosis from the contracted MDs?


#3

The first thing she should do is get a lawyer that handles WC cases. Won't cost her a dime and the fee comes out of the settlement, which is a small set amount. I had 2 WC injuries and got cash settlements in both, but without a lawyer its a lot more difficult. The lawyer made sure my cases got through the courts and got me a paycheck while I was out with a major knee injury.

This lady at work a few years ago fell in the hallway, it was waxed with the wrong type of wax, and she screwed up her shoulder. I advised her to get a lawyer since she was in PT and eventually had to have surgery. The settlement in her case was $36,000.

BG


#4

Lawyers will usually receive 1/3 of the settlement, but it will get the case moving. In the end you will usually make out better treatment and money wise if you go thru a lawyer and have a legit claim. Bullshit claims can be spotting a mile away, not saying that Ponce's mom's claim is; I worked in a law firm for a while, and spotting fakes is really easy.


#5

EDIT: They did NOT tell her she had a torn meniscus, even after looking at that MRI. They never even called her for a follow up appointment. The last thing one of those two idiots told her, "Oh, do you need some pain killers? Can I prescribe you anything?"

She saw another ortho surgeon (on her own, but who handles WC cases) and he told her she has a lot of fluid build up and she needs to have surgery. He said he was shocked that the other doctors didn't see that in her MRI.

She's still in pain throughout the day and is hopping around. I told her not to move to avoid aggravating it, but she's worried about sitting at home and losing her job (retail clothing) eventually for not being there. I know that can't LEGALLY happen, but companies find clever ways of letting you go. It's happened to me and a few friends.

I'll try to find an attorney if it comes down to that. Thanks.

Was hoping someone could point out a specific violation of state WC laws that this WC company has committed. There's no way it's legal to just ignore the claimant.

EDIT 2: A doctor friend of ours said the ortho surgeon might work with a lawyer who handles WC cases. She advised us to talk to the surgeon and contact that attorney.


#6

Ponce got to go man but PM me details, I handle this stuff all the time. From the businesses perspective etc. as a provider also.


#7

It seems like it is down to that and would be a very good idea.

I know that some might consider that shameful, but when lively hood and financial well being is at stake you need to do certain things to protect your own ass.

Calling a good attorney is one of those things. Keeping documentation of correspondence and any medical visits or procedures is another.

Good luck.


#8

You got it. Thanks a ton.