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have I covered all bases? - Printable Version

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have I covered all bases? - beth_qirn - 10-30-2007

Here's my story...I'll keep short as possible. I have a hx of having multiple revisions of a hip replacement. But, I was always able to go back to work with no restrictions as a staff RN at a rural hospital. In Oct 05, I got hurt lifting a patient with another co-worker. Did all the necessary paper work, xrays, etc..Xray read as negative NO Fracture. I took 4-5 days as workers comp, chaulked it up to torn scar tissue and went back to work. Pain was always there, just had some days that were worse than others. Went to family Dr in Jan 06, pain meds increased. I was working anywhere from 4-6 shifts per week. We decided I was just overdoing it.
May 06, hardware completely failed while at work. Did nothing to aggrevate, it just gave out and separted from the bone. When xrays that night were compared to Oct 05 Xrays, an obvious fracture was found in the hardware that the radiologist missed. (Thats a whole other case). Obviously I was off work immediately. Could not have surgery until July '06, due to hx,hard to find a surgeon that could do surgery and of course WC had to approve. While waiting for surgery, sciatic nerve became compressed in the broken hardware. Within 2 hours lost all function from knee down, feeling up the back of my thigh, and EXTREME pain. Still had to wait until July for surgery(4 weeks of this). Surgery repaired the hardware, most of the nerve pain improved. (Still have bad days if I do too much, sit too much, etc..) I did not get function or feeling back. I was on non-weightbearing status for 6 months, crutches then to cane. Physical therapy wasn't even started until after 6 months, due to dr wanting bone to knit to hardware.
Trying to make a long story short, my employer terminated my position on the year anniversary of the hardware failure. Of course I not only lost 10 years of seniority, but my group insurance, and any hope of being gainfully employed.
Surgeon does not feel I am employable at this point, especially as a nurse. I am unable to sit without elevating my leg. I now also have developed venous flow problems, and wear an AFO brace.
The day they terminated me was the day I hired a lawyer. I have filed a claim with EEOC also.
Physical therapy has reached maximum medical benefit, but I need to continue as to not loose what I do have at this point. Of course WC wants to quite paying for it.
Have I covered all my bases??? WC is now wanting to discuss settlement. I am concerned about future medical bills, Rx, Physical therapy etc....
I did apply for,and was approved for Soc. Sec. disablity.
Oh ya, I forgot to mention, my employer terminated me on the same day I received my invitation to my 10 year anniversary luncheon. Talk about a slap in the face.
Appreciate all input and suggestions. Thanks!!


RE: have I covered all bases? - Pooh - 10-30-2007

Beth

Looks like you got all bases covered.

As for firing you on your one year anniversary of the injury - some states only hold your job open for a year. Now if they hold jobs open for others longer than that - you may have a basis for that under the eeoc.

Work comp is a slow process and yes it is a frustrating one as well. I understand what you are saying about wanting to keep your mobility going and especially since after this revision you are worse off than after the others because the doctor that read the x-ray didn't read the x-ray correctly. But like you said - that doctor is a different story.

Also from the past you have learned that with a joint replacement it can take up to a year for full function to come back in the hip - but with the added nerve damage it may not come back.

As far as settling at this point - remember - you will need meds or treatment for the nerve damage and they are wanting out of that. Not sure how SSDI will work with that since they will also want a set aside amount and I think badboy would say that you want them to pay that and not to have it come out of your settlement at all.

You can always take your chances in court to keep medical open or tell your attorney that there is no way of settling the claim with closing the medical side of the claim at all. This will force it to go to court for the hearing. They will have a doctor rate you and then you will also want to get rated for your own side. Since I don't know what state your in - then I can't answer about whether the previous hip replacement and the disability caused by them would play any role in the final calculations. Your attorney should be able to answer that question, especially in light of the fact that you were doing the job without accommodation's.


RE: have I covered all bases? - beth_qirn - 10-30-2007

Thanks for the quick reply. I live in IL. I really do not want to settle quick, due to the fact I still have the vascular issues to deal with yet. Though they are trying to get out of that. Lawyers can deal with them. As much as I could use the money right now, after being off work since May '06, I know my health is more important. I'm only 45 and have, hopefully, a lot of years ahead of me.
The worst part of all this...if you could only turn back time!! If this had been caught when the hardware cracked, I would have been back working by now. I LOVED my job, which is why I became a nurse. I'd give up any money I might get just to be able to do patient care again.


RE: have I covered all bases? - Pooh - 10-30-2007

Beth

Hopefully Tuffy and badboy can give you some more insite to the IL wc system as both of them are from there. My case was next door in Iowa and it was over with earlier this year. And I am still finding things wrong with me - but that's a long story and not something I bother with WC with anymore at least now when I need medical attention I get it even though I am at the point they can't do much for me but wait until I am old enough for shoulder surgery .......... hate having good range of motion when your in pain - you know ortho doctors they hate to operate on those of us with good ROM. lol

Anyway - I understand what your saying - but maybe you can take this time to check and see what other jobs you can do within your restrictions. Some type of management in the health care field maybe?


RE: have I covered all bases? - beth_qirn - 10-30-2007

I will look forward to hear what they have to say. I have been looking into the legal nurse consultant field. It is something that looks like I could do from home. When this is all over I'm going to look into the online courses. At least it would keep my nursing knowledge going and keep my foot in the door of the health care field. Thanks again. Good luck to you!!
Don't let them put you off too long because of your age. You don't want to end up with more damage with the wear and tear.


RE: have I covered all bases? - Pooh - 10-30-2007

to late on that Beth - I already have muscles that don't work properly and narrowing of the joint space in the shoulder. So they say once I have loss of range of motion then they will do the surgery - right now they feel they will do more harm than good being that I need surgery on both shoulders and choosing which one to do first would make the other one worse. Can't win for losing - the only good news is that with the time off work and the bone stimulator the AVN in the shoulder is gone but it was only a small spot to begin with. Smile So something worked - but not thanks to WC doctors.


RE: have I covered all bases? - beth_qirn - 10-30-2007

I am so sorry to hear that. I know what living with pain everyday does to a person. Have you had a second opinion? I wouldn't trust the WC doctor either. When I went and saw mine last month, in front of me, the case manager and my best friend, he said one thing...Then, when I got a copy of the medical records..a totally different version. The only dates he had correct in his dictation were the dates I saw him. Luckily..I keep copies of EVERYTHING!!
Anyway, I don't know how close you are to Iowa City, but I have been there before and was very impressed. Research hospitals are great! If you haven't ever seen drs there before, it might be worth it.


RE: have I covered all bases? - Tuffy - 10-30-2007

Beth, First I want to say Welcome to the forum. I'am also from Il and a RN, I worked in a large hospital in northern Il , Have a lower back injury from transfering and lifting pts. I have been dealing with WC for over 2 years now and still have not settled, but in the process. Hopefully soon. It sounds to me as yes you have covered the bases, you have kept records and copies of everything, As far as settling My opinion would be not untill you are placed at MMI by your Drs, and you are as good as you can be.

I,am sure that Bad Boy will be along soon and believe me when I tell you he knows Il WC up one side and down the other and is a fountain of knowledge, If you have him in your corner you have won half of the battle. Good luck and come visit on the off topic area, we have several injured nurses there. again Welcome.


RE: have I covered all bases? - Tuffy - 10-30-2007

Beth, I do have a question? You stated the hard ware cracked, What kind did you have and are we talking total hip?, Was the hardware at fault?


RE: have I covered all bases? - Bad Boy Bad Boy - 10-30-2007

Beth, Tuffy supplied great input along with the others. You did cover your bases well. ( I only wished you made it to this Board before you obtained an Attorney. For I have one heck of a great W/C Attorney that mainly deals with Hospital employee's mainly Nurses and CNA's, oh he is great for you type people also.) But still that is ok. Now your treating doctor is the one that states more PT or not. If that Doctor states you need more, you inform your Attorney right away with such report, and then also ask the Doctor's staff to seek the approval.

Settlement when Hardware is in the picture? It's always been my Attorney, and Attorney friends that would say, never settle for 6 months to a year, after released from the treating Doctor, for if the hardware fails, you can then still get it covered. Where if you settle here in Illinois, they close the medical also, meaning no futher coverage, and if you agree to the settlement terms, and something happens, hope SSDI or Medicare will pay for it, but mostly not. Also since SSDI accepted and Awarded you, you will now need a Medicare Set-Aside done before settlement takes place. Those bases now need to be covered for you protection when you do settle.

Need more answers, ask more questions. it's that easy.

And oh, welcome aboard... Big Grin Oh, I collect Illinois work comp Attorney's by the way Cool Only the good ones though...Cool