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Just filed a workmans comp claim
11-05-2011, 02:11 PM
Post: #1
Just filed a workmans comp claim
Hello, I am new here and have a question that I hope you can help me with.
I have had two injections in my hands in the past 18 months and used my own health insurance to pay for the specialists. He advised that the injections were not helping me and I should seriously consider carpul tunnel surgery.

The numbness got worse in both hands and now pains in both hands to the point that I can not open or close all the way.

Two weeks ago I came to work and started but couldn't take it anymore.
I filed a workmans comp claim and took off work with a doctor's order for three weeks to help reduce stress and go treatments.

I contacted two lawyers and they both say I should have filed back when I first went to the doctor for the injections in 2010.
I did not know how this process worked at the time.
So my question is have I ruined my chances for a settlement and can my job fire me because I can not keep up with the work in my condition?
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11-05-2011, 03:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
there are statutes of limitation for all states work comp system.
you didn't give us your state.

your doctors should have discussed your condition and causes.
if you knew it could be work related you are obligated to file within the time limits.

if your employment is covered by the Family & Medical Leave Act you have 12 weeks of job protection.

more on filing for FMLA here
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
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11-05-2011, 03:25 PM
Post: #3
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
As 1171 says, there is a statute of limitations in all States. You must file a claim for WC within that statute, or waive your rights to make a claim. MOST States set the statute at 1 year, although your State may be different, depending upon the laws there.

If you are beyond the statute of limitations, you would likely need to use sick leave and/or vacation time to be off work with pay while you are treated and heal. Following that, you could initiate FMLA. If you have leave benefits, use them first, as FMLA is UNPAID leave. To reiterate 1171's reply, that will protect A JOB with your employer for 12 weeks, but not necessarily YOUR JOB and not necessarily at your same rate of pay.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. While drawing from my professional training and experience in law enforcement and as a former Paralegal, no comments offered should be considered as legal advice.
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11-05-2011, 03:27 PM
Post: #4
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
I am in Georgia.
I filed the claim last week because that was the breaking point for me.

Eventhough I had the problems in the past.
I'm not trying to go back and start from last year.
Thanks
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11-05-2011, 03:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
I am in Georgia.
I filed the claim last week because that was the breaking point for me.

Eventhough I had the problems in the past.
I'm not trying to go back and start from last year.
Thanks
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11-05-2011, 03:47 PM
Post: #6
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
(11-05-2011 03:27 PM)my hands hurt Wrote:  I am in Georgia.
I filed the claim last week because that was the breaking point for me.

Eventhough I had the problems in the past.
I'm not trying to go back and start from last year.
Thanks

Very good. I'm in Georgia also. There is a 1 year statute of limitations for filing a WC claim in Georgia. Still, all is not lost ...... YET.

You can still file a claim for WC. The ER/IC (Employer/Insurance Co.) can file a controversion (denial) of the claim, based on the statute of limitations, but that has to be done prior to the first hearing.

On the other hand, if it can be shown that your "previous condition" (i.e., carpal tunnel syndrome) was worsened, even after self-paid treatment, you might be able to fly under the radar.

Since your situation right now is very tenuous, it would absolutely be advisable to secure legal counsel NOW, rather than later, or at least wait for them to deny coverage, then consult an attorney. As I said earlier, if you have sick leave and vacation pay, you can utilize that, if the claim is denied, so that you're not out of work without pay while you fight it out.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. While drawing from my professional training and experience in law enforcement and as a former Paralegal, no comments offered should be considered as legal advice.
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11-05-2011, 05:19 PM
Post: #7
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
(11-05-2011 03:27 PM)my hands hurt Wrote:  I am in Georgia.
I filed the claim last week because that was the breaking point for me.

Eventhough I had the problems in the past.
I'm not trying to go back and start from last year.
Thanks

maybe you are not trying to go back, but if they can show that it was outside of the year they will.
as legal says you might get by thru an aggravation.
the date of injury is the legal key; not a breaking point.
neither you nor your employer gets to choose a date of injury.
the court will look at the medical evidence.
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11-05-2011, 07:04 PM
Post: #8
RE: Just filed a workmans comp claim
Here's a tip. Consider that you had CP issues before and treated through your own insurance. You continued to work without restrictions. As time goes on, things got worse, to the point of needing surgery.

In the case of a RSI (repetetive stress injury), there really is no specific date of injury, because a RSI is not a "traumatic injury". So, since you had already covered the cost of the treatment before, you don't make a claim for the original "complaint date", but rather use the more recent date of "aggravation" upon which to base the WC claim (inside the 1 year statute).

Theoretically, this is what's called a "fictitious date of injury". This doesn't mean it's a made up date, but rather an estimated date at which you became aware that the previous condition had become worse, to the point where surgical intervention might be required and that such worsening finally interfered with your usual work duties.

From what you've presented here, the "fictitious date of injury" would be about two weeks ago, when your hands bothered you so much that you could no longer function normally.

An attorney would absolutely be needed to help you navigate through this, though, because the IC is going to fight you to the end on that premise.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. While drawing from my professional training and experience in law enforcement and as a former Paralegal, no comments offered should be considered as legal advice.
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