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Second Surgery (Cervical Spine)
#1
Injury occurred in Phoenix, AZ in / or about 2002. I currently reside in the State of Arizona. I had an injury to my neck in 2002 resulting in a cervical fusion surgery. I was discharged from my job after I filed for work comp. The employer was uncooperative. I hired a well known attorney to represent my case. I had a fusion surgery in 2003. The surgery helped, however, I could no longer work in my former job capacity. After I was released by my neurosurgeon, I had no income and I moved (out of state) into my family's home where I had no living expenses. I helped out in the family business in order to contribute. Working for my father, I was able to work temporary- part time (contract labor) in order to have some spending money . I was granted disability in 2005. Due to the fact that my disability benefits were garnished by 65% by the State of Washington due to back child support I qualified for "Extra Help" and medicare paid my medical expenses. In / or about 2005 the insurance company offered me a lump sum settlement. I declined the offer as it too, was to be garnished by 65% and did not appear to be in my best interest. After my refusal to sign the agreement for the lump sum I began receiving a check each month from my attorney for $30.07. After about five years (2009) I clearly had to seek professional help as I endured increasing pain and limitation. Because it was a work comp injury I contacted my neurosurgeon to seek advice as to what course of action to treat my problems. He reviewed new films. He explained that although the fusion plate had "two broken screws," he believed the fusion was still holding. He sent me to a pain management clinic here in Arizona. I lived with family here in Arizona and relied on their help in order to afford my expenses. At that time I began a regimen of medication and epidurals for my neck pain. My condition continued a steady decline as I was increasingly restricted by my injury. I made the effort to seek advice from my attorney's office and tried to understand how I would ever get compensated for my related expenses. I had realized that by declining the lump sum settlement, it interfered with the procedure for them to be fairly compensated for work they provided in my behalf. I was advised that the work comp carrier would always be liable for my medical expenses regarding my neck injury. This is the year 2017. The only expense that the carrier has ever paid is my first fusion surgery and, after I declined the lump sum in 2005, they pay a monthly benefit of which I realize $30.07. When I moved back to Arizona in 2014 I lost my "Extra Help" from Medicare. I have exhausted my resources. My prescription costs for my neck run about $350.00 a month. My attorney now explains that the carrier won't pay because I am above the guideline for
opioid medication by about 30mg. a day. The carrier never paid any money "ever" for any of my prescriptions! The attorney is aware of my expense since 2009 but has never asked me to supply any receipts for anything. However, he
assures me that the carrier will always be liable for expenses stemming from my injury? That is it...

Now, after I pursued another evaluation from my neurosurgeon (the same surgeon that I have always had, the same surgeon who was paid by the work comp insurance carrier back in 2003), my neurosurgeon recommends that in view of my continued debilitation, neuropathy in both arms and hands, continued neck pain, etc., it is manifest to him that a second surgery be performed. He explains in his written evaluation report that this is a continuation of my care- back to the initial surgery and therefore, in his opinion, no question as to the responsibility of expense to the work comp insurance carrier.

My attorney is now much more attentive.

We have been methodically working through the procedure to satisfy the demands set forth by the Industrial Commission for the State of Arizona, etc.

If I am granted a second surgery to extend the plate in my neck up one more level then what kind of benefit amount could I conceivably be expecting?
Obviously, I am beyond the point whereby I automatically expect anyone to fulfill their responsibility to me, personally. I do not know how to understand
if I am being treated fairly?

What advice can someone provide me as to how to understand if I am, "within the realm" of being treated fairly?

Through this adversity remain grateful to God! I can appreciate the fact that I must try to make informed decisions

Who should I seek advice?

Thank you,
smith.daniel
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Messages In This Thread
Second Surgery (Cervical Spine) - smith.daniel@centurylink.net - 07-20-2017, 04:33 PM
RE: Second Surgery (Cervical Spine) - 1171 - 07-20-2017, 06:55 PM
RE: Second Surgery (Cervical Spine) - 1171 - 07-21-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: Second Surgery (Cervical Spine) - 1171 - 10-18-2017, 08:51 PM

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