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Shoulder Injury - California
#1
Question 
I have been looking over many of the threads trying to find answers...I am an Emergency room RN and was injured 11/09 while caring for a patient. After 6 wks of failed PT, I had arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, on 4/2010, which showed a partial supraspinatus tear and a non repairable labral tear. A synovectomy was performed but no rotator cuff repair. I returned to PT but was delayed with continued inflammation. Had a cortisone shot that didn't work. Finally, put on Mobic with some relief. I was put on light duty (to save my job, per employer) during the strengthening process. Finally was cleared for full duty. After a month of no restrictions, the pain returned. Went on some modifications but still working my primary job. The pain continued and was put on full restrictions (12/2010). I had a repeat arthrogram and have the report - shows supraspinatus tear remains and new infraspinatus tears (small). Indications show there is impingement, degeneration of the joint and bursitis. I am awaiting my follow up appt to review results with the surgeon. My WC doctor has mentioned in my last two visits that there is a high possibility that I will have reached MMI. This has made me consider the possibility that I won't be able to return to clinical care. My non-clinical options would require significant higher education. Here are my questions for anyone with some insight:
1) With my lack of knowledge and fear of getting taken advantage of, is it advisable to get an attorney now or after the MMI designation?
2) Is the percentage of disability based on current job requirements or global description of title? For example, I can't work in a clinical setting (pushing, pulling, and lifting of patients) but there are other RN positions (usually requiring additional schooling) that I would be able to perform (case management, informatics ect.). I would debate that my percentage would be higher as a clinical RN than a non-clinical RN based off of physicality.
3) What should I expect for financial concerns regarding the MMI determination?
4) Any suggestions to be proactive in this situation? Any warnings?
Thank you for your time. I am grateful for this forum...It allows us to attempt to find answers and maintain as much control in our situations as possible.
 
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#2
yes, with your kind of temperament consider an atty: caaa.org --use the zip code search.
while many have legitimate complaints about their atty at least you you'll have some peace of mind knowing that it won't be the carrier or system that's taken advantage of you. Smile

disability rating has only a little to do with your type of job.
the AMA guides to functional impairment measure loss of use compared to normal.
after the impairment rating there is some modification for your job occupational grouping.
at mmi your TTD will be stopped and PD advances started. the max is $230/week.
get a copy of your rating report and if you believe there are errors request a Qualified Medical Examination.
more info here:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/medicalUnit/faqIW.html

read all you can about the system from the DWC website. it'll reduce your frustration and if you become represented, allow you to be a better client.
the system is limited in what it can do and awareness can reduce anger & frustration.
Cool
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#3
DEFINITELY get an attorney now! I just settled my case on a shoulder injury with surgery. The IC and my employer would have raked me over the coals had I not had my attorney. I read many statutes and learned a lot but still could never have dealt with them as efficiently as my attorney and his assistant did. Well worth the money in my opinion!

Good luck!
 
Reply
#4
Thank you for your advice... I will work on getting a consult as well as getting a better idea of what the surgeon and WC MD plan to do.
 
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