You are here:

Worker`s Compensation/Question regarding P&S rating

Advertisement


Question
Nancy,

I have an interesting question for you:  

I have been dealing with an injury that I suffered at work for about 2 years 4 months.  I fractured a rib in my back area and have sense been dealing with Chronic Back Pain.  I have tried everything possible to eleviate the pain, however I have not been successful.  My doctors have sent me to Physical Therpay, Acupuncture, Electric Stimulation, Message therapy, pain managment, and to the chiropractor. in my almost 2 1/2 year problem.  The treating doctor has finally said that my problem has now become a permanent injury and the orthodpedic also told me the problem that I have has now become chronic.  The orthopedic doctor stated due to the amount of time that I have been treated for this injury that I would have to go back to a workmens' comp doctor to be re-evaluated.  He said that the workmans comp doctor would most likely give me a permanent & stationary evaluation at this point, and that most likely he would not rule over the treating physicans determination.  

I think what I am worried about is the fact that this is a company doctor and I have not heard good things about the ruling that they usually have against the employee.  What is your take on what I can expect?

Answer
PICKING THE WRONG DOCTOR CAN WIPE OUT YOUR CLAIM.   If you permit a 'defense' doctor to write your final evaluation, all benefits can end OR you can get just $2000 but be out of a job.

Expect the physician hand-selected by the adjuster to EITHER (1) return you to full duty with no restrictions and no rateable permanent disability findings OR (2) write you cannot return to the pre-injury job duties -- resulting in your being legally fired and applying for unemployment -- but that you have only 5% permanent disability so you get just $4000 for losing your employment.

GOOD NEWS:   You ARE permitted to choose your own physician, but only from the Medical Provider Network ( MPN).

BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL:   if you pick a 'jerk' doctor from the MPN, you're sort of 'married' to him and stuck with a horrific opinion.   YOUR opinion means nothing to a workers comp adjuster or the workers comp judge... all follow the writings of the M.D.

So, if you do not know the 'leanings' of any physician on the MPN, YOU MUST HAVE A SPECIALIST ATTORNEY IN YOUR REGION pick the MPN doctor for you.

if YOU pick the TV "fight for you" law firm who doesn't know who the local doctors to treat you are and picks the wrong guy, you're in trouble.

YOU CAN get a Qualified Medical Evaluation after the Treating PHysician writes a terrible report but it's just a one-time opinion and if that's bad too, you're really stuck

I see people every day like you who decided to 'just see' what the insurance company doctor had to say before changing, they got a terrible finding that 99% of their complaints were non-industrial pre-existing arthritis/depression/fibromyalgiz (not the insurer's responsibility, saving them 100,000s), then they picked a QME without attorney guidance and the QME wrote they couldn't do their old job but they were just depressed, and they had to take $3000 and were unemployed and lost their home.

All because they were too lazy to hunt for a certified specialist Workers Comp attorney.

HUNT FOR AND HIRE A CERTIFIED SPECIALIST WORKERS COMP ATTTORNEY, interview them, ask them why they are selecting a particular doctor as your New Treating Physician and have them SHOW YOU that doc is on the Medical Provider Network...only THEN hire them.   

Never hire an attorney over the phone, never sign blank forms and cross your fingers.   If the attorney cannot meet with you and show you the MPN list and their 'friendly' doctor on it, say 'thanks for you time' and talk to another.

Worker`s Compensation

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Nancy Wallace

Expertise

California injured workers employed by state and private agencies (NOT federal employees) regarding On-The-Job injuries, disability payments, and terminations from being injured on the job (work-related wrongful terminations).

Experience

20+ years in California Workers Compensation law practice in California. Certified Specialist, Workers' Compensation, Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California

Organizations
California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

Publications
Editor, Western State University College of Law newspaper www.Avvo.com www.imhurt.info

Education/Credentials
J.D., Western State University College of Law B.S., cum laude, Cal Poly Pomona

Past/Present Clients
Senior adjuster for one county sent me her husband when they needed caring representation. The injured Employment Development Dept. hearing representative -- who see all applicant's attorneys in the region -- hired me when she got hurt on the job. A Fire Department Chief in Orange County came all the way to San Bernardino for my representation.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.