Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - Printable Version
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Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - Steve.0 - 05-12-2011 01:24 PM
Hello my name is Steve and I am 22 years old. I work at a wood yard and I operate a large piece of machinery called a "HOG 3". On April 15, 2011 at 10:17am I was injured on the job by a falling log. The log was (estimated) 12'' diameter, 6' long, fresh-cut red cypress. Very heavy. I fully extended my left arm to catch the log from falling into my machine (which would have destroyed it, causing me to lose my job) and forced it over the railing onto the ground. Only 5 seconds after the log hit the ground I felt a severe burning sensation and every time I moved my arm I could feel popping and cracking. I'm a stubborn guy and figured the pain would go away after a little while. It didn't. I notified my employer about 15 minutes after the initial pain. My supervisor filled out a accident report. My supervisor then walked me to the Personnel Office to meet with the "personnel director". She had to set me up with an appointment with a "specialist" because "no one at the ER would be able to tell you anything". On April 18, 2011 after sitting home all weekend in severe pain I went to see and Orthopedic Specialist. (No names, no locations so don't ask). We'll call him "Dr. Vac". He evaluated me and told me he "thinks" I have a few torn tendons that make up my rotary cuff in my left shoulder. He places me on work restrictions which are: Carry, Lift floor to waist, Lift waist to overhead, push, pull anything over 5 pounds or reach overhead at all. He gave me a prescription for HYDROCO/APAP 7.5/500. He then refers me to an MRI specialist. On April 26, 2011 I went to a MRI specialist in the small city where I live. The bore on the MRI machine was too small for my broad shoulders and they couldn't get me in the machine past my neck. The MRI technician said that "this machine has the biggest bore on the market. We'll have to refer you to a place that has and open-MRI unit." On April 29, 2011 I went to a MRI specialist in Gainesville, FL (about a 45 minute drive from my home) and they have a Hitachi open-MRI unit. The scan lasted about 45 minutes. It was very nice, the technicians were very polite, they gave me ear plugs and music to listen to. After the scan was complete, I was told to redress and head to check-out to get my MRI images copied to a disk and an excuse for work. I was then contacted by my primary doctor (DR. Vac) and told to come in for another appointment on May 4, 2011 at 10:00am. The day of the appointment, I was contacted by Dr. Vac's receptionist, who rescheduled me to May 12, 2011 (today). On May 5, 2011 while on light duty, I bent over to pick up a stick and severe "shooting" pains ran down the left side of my back from my left shoulder to my shoulder blade, down the back of my left arm to my elbow, then to my fingertips and up into my neck. I have not been back to work since. I spoke to the "Big boss" at work, no problems there. So here's my problem... I went today to see Dr. Vac. He walked in with this little muscle "cut-away" display thing and some paperwork. He didn't introduce himself, ask me how I was doing, ask me if I was having anymore pain or problems... Nothing. He showed me on the muscle thingy what the problem I have is and on the paper I have it says: "Abnormal appearance of the posterior labrum consistent with posterior labral tearing/detachment." He said he would have to transfer care to a surgical specialist. I asked him "is that supposed to hurt this bad?" and he replied "This bad? Huh ha ha ha that type of injury hurts a lot more than just 'this bad'". So I started to tell him that even all the light duty jobs at my place of employment require me to use both arms and that I'm in severe pain and that most everything there besides pieces of trash (coke bottles, chip bags, etc) and even then the bags of garbage weigh over 5 pounds. He cut me off and said "I'm not changing your work restrictions, go see "Ms. S" at check-out and have a nice day." He then got up, tossed my papers in the chair next to, me walked out and slammed the door behind him. I thought that was very unprofessional and rude. My question is, if I need to be referred to a surgical specialist and the pain "hurts a lot more than just 'this bad'" why wouldn't he consider taking me out if work? It's miserable for me to work in such pain. Especially when I work outside all day and its 90 - 95 degrees. When I do go to work, I have to leave within an hour or two because of the pain. On a scale of 0 - 10 the pain is about a 7.5 - 8 as compared to the worst pain I've ever had (point-blank bullet wound). I'm covered by workers compensation, my insurer and my insurance adjuster gave me the over-the-phone recorded interview and told me he would allow continued coverage. Why do I have to work? Now I read on the workers compensation website that the doctor that my company chooses will try to "get me back to work as soon as possible even if it means your misery and suffering". Could this be the case? Please help before I contact a lawyer. Any advice is very very much appreciated and if you have any questions feel free to reply here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much.
P.S. Sorry for the "novel". I just wanted you all to have enough information at hand to leave a response to help me. Thanks again...
Sorry if I broke any forum rules in my post. I'm new here. Let me know what I did and I will do my best to correct the errors as soon as possible... Thanks
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - jayne - 05-12-2011 03:09 PM
Kate on here is the one to go to for all the ins and outs on Fla.WC...but if they have a job for you within your restrictions you gotta go......and alot of work sites will find work for you even if its sitting there counting nuts and bolts....be happy about it...at least all your benifits are continuing and you will get a full check...if you go off on WC alot of your benifits stop and WC pay goes down to 66% or so........so if they are working with you and not giving you any problems....you are getting all your Dr and med bills paid.....man you are so far ahead of alot of people here....
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - bodybuilder1958 - 05-12-2011 03:31 PM
Unfortunately you will have to deal with this as much as possible. I have a friend that had rotator cuff surgery on a Tuesday and Wednesday she was at work sitting at a desk. On narcotics, arm in a sling, tears at times due to the pain but she had to comply.
As long as they offer you work it's at your full pay. It's not easy and at times it's very unpleasant. The first department I was sent to after my injury was horrible. They moved my crutches, tripped me twice, wouldn't help me in any way, not even help with opening doors and I had to comply or face getting no medical care whatsoever.
Do the best that you can do and like Jayne said, you're doing better than alot of us have.
Take care, sorry we had to meet this way,
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - Steve.0 - 05-12-2011 03:45 PM
Thanks a lot for replying. I guess I didn't think about how much worse it could be. Thanks for opening my eyes. I don't know Kate or how to find her but if you happen to remember and see her point her here please and thank you
Narcotics? I don't know much about prescription medications but aren't those the medicines everyone is getting addicted to. I saw something on MSNBC about "Hillbilly Heroin" oxycotton or something. I don't want that. Is there some other types of pain medications they can give me besides those?
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - jayne - 05-12-2011 03:57 PM
she will find you she is Momma on here quickest way tofind her is to do something wrong then she find you with a big ol ruler and pops your keyboard fingers....lol shes a Mod
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - kate - 05-12-2011 04:26 PM
Many people have different tolerance to pain. Pain is subjective (medical definition: arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes and not observable by an examiner). In other words, pain cannot be seen on an xray, MRI or measured by a machine.
The doctors are required to base their treatment plans, recommendations and work restrictions based on objective (medical definition: perceptible to persons other than the affected individual) findings. In other words, they need to be able to show results of some type of test, etc. to backup their findings. Not that they all do, but maybe your doctor is one that follows the requirements.
Unfortunately, the law says that if your employer has work that is within the restrictions given by your physician, and you do not comply, they can stop your wage benefits.
You still would receive your medical benefits.
If you are being referred to a specialist, make sure you let him/her know what the job entails and the results of your attempts at return to work. If you don't at least try, you can't in all honestly tell them "I tried and can't do it". Once they have examined you, they may take you off work or changed your restrictions based on their exam.
When is your next appointment?
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - Steve.0 - 05-12-2011 05:02 PM
I'm not sure when it is. No one has called me yet to make an appointment. The company that calls me usually does so in a day or two. With the weekend coming up it'll probably be Monday or Tuesday before I know when my appointment is and probably a week after the scheduling call before I'll be seen again. It's such a hassle to deal with the pain but I know I have to anyway. Thanks Kate and whoever was kind enough to point her here
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - jayne - 05-12-2011 07:08 PM
she is all knowing and all seeing.....do something wrong and see how fast she finds you......lol
RE: Help Please... Florida Workers Compensation Question - combatcop - 05-12-2011 11:57 PM
ive got the same type of injury and live in the same area as you, we may have been to the same drs...i am lucky a have a wc dr who is concerned about my medical needs not the ic or employer,i assume your going into gainesville for any treatments..i can help only with my experience and who and where ive been treated in gainesville, and a lawyer office you need to avoid if you choose to look for one..kind of late so i will send you an e-mail at add you posted,we can keep names and such between us..good luck..hang in there