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Worker`s Compensation/repetitive injury?


I have written to you before so you have some of my background.To reiterate, !9 years on checkstand with history of neck pain intermittantly approximately 8-9 years, always manageable with ice and stretching  , severe neck pain in June 2013, referred to neuro by PCP, neuro would not see me, thought it could be work related and cumulative, filed workmans comp, saw spine specialist. MRI from PCP showed DDD, cord indentation @ C34,C45,C56,C67. Neural foraminal narrowing most significant @ C45, C56 and C67, facet osteoarthritis on left @ C23 w/ surrounding reactive bone marrow edema.Also, disk osteophyte complex C34, disk bulging @ C45, C56, and C67. Spine specialist ordered xrays with AP and lateral views,showing  displacement of cerv. invertebral disk w/o mylopathy, cerv. spondylosis, cerv. stenosis. I also wake up several times nightly for past 2-3 years with pins and needles both hands and burning hot right hand.As soon as i get up, the burning goes away but sometimes the pins and needles last until midday. My question is this, as an active, healthy, hard working woman of 61 years, could this all be related to 19 years on checkstand full time? No specific injury date, this just got worse 4 months ago and pain and discomfort has not let up. My neck is forward flexed all day at work and there is repetitive scanning and constant lifting of groceries as courtesy clerks are few. I continue to work full time as my paycheck is important. Have missed many days however and I am wondering if discomfort will continue or if I should hang in there for another 4-5 years as has always been my plan to work until I'm 66. Can I do further damage to spine by staying at full time? Could this be considered a cumulative problem brought on by work or just the normal progression of DDD. My weight is perfect and I exercise as much as a 40 hour work week allows, running and walking 1 1/2 miles twice weekly. I will also add my lumbar acts up on occasion and MRI findings show disk herniation @ L12,and space narrowing @ L23, L45, L5-S1. I handle lumbar problems with ice,ibuprophin, and stretches. I maybe will encounter lumbar pain 2-3 times a year and is manageable.I have retained a lawyer who says I have a case. I feel however very uncomfortable pursuing a case when this could just be an age thing. Workmans comp has denied my claim and an appeal is in progress. A QME appt. is being set up. My much hoped for transforaminal injection sadly did not happen as process due date came before inj. could happen and I missed out on possible alleviation of discomfort which could have helped five more years on checkstand. I am not a complainer. Just very confused about my current situation.  Thank you Nancy for reading this lengthy letter.

When asking an attorney to work for free, make the question short and sweet... 99% of attorneys will decline to read through this.

99% of this irrelevant, a waste of your typing and a huge loss of time.   DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS TO THE EVALUATING DOCTORS, they will pass out listening to this minutia.

When you have a repetitive trauma injury and the insurer denies that it occurred at work, YOU HAVE JUST ONE SHOT to prove the claim:   the Qualified Medical evaluation.

YOU LEFT OUT THE ONE THING that matters:   who is the QME and did you do any research to see if he is 'in bed' with the insurer?

If the QME your schedule to see is 'in bed' with the Insurance Company, he will write this is just old age and not industrial and you get nothing.    

IF YOU DID NO HOMEWORK ON THE QME and you have no clue whether the adjuster is friends with this guy, DON'T SEE HIM.

VERY QUICKLY, hire a certified specialist attorney in your area who knows area doctors and can tell you if the QME is a jerk or a worker-friendly doctor.

All the other questions and details are moot until you know exactly who you are seeing and what he will write.

I talk to people like you every day who just cross their fingers and hope it works out okay, and when the doctor writes all their problems are natural aging combined with birth defects like stenosis, and THEN they expect a lawyer to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

IT'S TOO LATE AFTER YOU SEE THE WRONG DOCTOR.   Know exactly who you are seeing BEFORE YOU GO.

and if you don't know, hire somebody who CAN PROVE to you she does know.

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Nancy Wallace


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).


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

California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

Editor, Western State University College of Law newspaper

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.

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