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Need Help, Attorney Issue
#1
Question 
Hello everyone this is my first post. I injured my back in December and have just recently been placed on light duty. WC sent me to neurosurgeon Friday. His verdict is degenerative disc disease at L4 L5 with mild stenosis. I have almost constant pain in my back and down my legs. I am learning to live with it after extensive research into the risks of epidural injections and fusion. The neurosurgeon is sending me for more physical therapy and 1 possibly 2 epidural steroid injections. He stated in his report that if this does not help he will advise to have the spinal fusion. I spoke with my attorney today. when I tried to talk with him about my concerns and fears concerning the injections he pretty much dismissed me and told me I should do what the doctor said for me to do. He was very condescending really, told me he was not a doctor, that I should not believe things I read on the internet and told me everything has risks like it was no big deal and I should just go along with what the doctor said. This is the doctor that the workers comp nurse case manager sent me to see. He even had the audacity to ask me if I wanted to get better, and said if I did I should do what is recommended. He said I could decide not to but that he did not know how this would effect my award.

I left feeling very uncomfortable and definitely not feeling like I could trust him. His attitude was totally changed since I last saw him a few weeks ago. He would not even listen to my concerns or the things I was trying to explain to him. I am in the process of contacting another attorney recommended by a friend.

Has anyone else had this experience? Is this normal from an attorney that is supposed to be helping you? I get a funny feeling that he is not on my side but on someone else s. How do I go about firing him if the other attorney will take my case?

thank you
 
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#2
(05-20-2015, 08:33 PM)Verenda30 Wrote: Hello everyone this is my first post. I injured my back in December and have just recently been placed on light duty. WC sent me to neurosurgeon Friday. His verdict is degenerative disc disease at L4 L5 with mild stenosis. I have almost constant pain in my back and down my legs. I am learning to live with it after extensive research into the risks of epidural injections and fusion. The neurosurgeon is sending me for more physical therapy and 1 possibly 2 epidural steroid injections. He stated in his report that if this does not help he will advise to have the spinal fusion. I spoke with my attorney today. when I tried to talk with him about my concerns and fears concerning the injections he pretty much dismissed me and told me I should do what the doctor said for me to do. He was very condescending really, told me he was not a doctor, that I should not believe things I read on the internet and told me everything has risks like it was no big deal and I should just go along with what the doctor said. This is the doctor that the workers comp nurse case manager sent me to see. He even had the audacity to ask me if I wanted to get better, and said if I did I should do what is recommended. He said I could decide not to but that he did not know how this would effect my award.

I left feeling very uncomfortable and effeminately not feeling like I could trust him. His attitude was totally changed since I last saw him a few weeks ago. He would not even listen to my concerns or the things I was trying to explain to him. I am in the process of contacting another attorney recommended by a friend.

Has anyone else had this experience? Is this normal from an attorney that is supposed to be helping you? I get a funny feeling that he is not on my side but on someone else s. How do I go about firing him if the other attorney will take my case?

thank you

Every state has different work comp laws. It will be difficult to answer all of your questions without knowing what state you are from.

One thing I did not realize when I hired my first attorney is that their job is to give legal advice and not medical advice. Now a few years and a few attorney's later I get it. Your attorney is actually being very ethical not swaying you on the medical decisions as he is not a doctor. What he stated is correct and you should not take it personally or think he is being dishonest or curt. I have since found that sometimes attorney's can come off as a little cold or give curt answers. I think they have a very stressful day and sometimes can be short with clients. If this continues I would discuss it with him or possibly get another attorney. It is up to you how you want to proceed.

He is correct that saying no to a suggested medical treatment can affect your claim, at least in my state California it can. In California if the injured worker refuses a treatment or surgery it may result in the doctor P&S/MMI you which means you are permanent and stationary. Usually the next step is to get you rated and work toward closing your claim. This may or may not happen in your case. In California they can also give you a lower rating if the treatment your doctor requested such as surgery etc the patient refused. I am not sure how they do this, but for example if a person has a broken arm and refuses a cast which causes permanent disability, the rating will be affected.

If you are worried about your doctors treatment, you can ask your attorney if there is a second opinion process or if you can change doctors. I would do this instead of changing attorney's since you have issues with having an epidural. In my state they usually will not go forward with spinal surgery unless other things were attempted first such as epidurals PT etc. Every state has different rules on all of this so it is difficult to respond without knowing your state. I am coming from the perspective of a California injured worker.

I think it is a good idea to get another opinion before you undergo a fusion. Most of the people on this site who have had fusions, myself included are worse after the fusion. I have yet to meet a patient who is better after a fusion, but I have read about it.





I am not an attorney.Anything I write should not be considered legal advice.I am writing from my own personal experiences,which is not from any sort of legal background. You should consult with an attorney over legal issues. In California, if you cannot get an attorney you can consult with an I&A officer.
 
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#3
you're correct that you need an atty you can trust; the difficulty is how to figure that out before damage to your case is done.

your new atty will handle transferring representation.
you should also do some research as to how to select the right atty for you.
many states have specialty fields that attys can be certified in.
find out if your state has one for workers compensation.

some more help here
http://hirealawyer.findlaw.com/choosing-...awyer.html

and
http://legalcareers.about.com/od/practic...Lawyer.htm

you should
check out more then one lawyer before deciding.
here are some places to start (in addition to the lawyer search feature at the bottom of this page):
https://www.wilg.org/index.cfm?pg=publicdirectory
http://www.avvo.com/workers-compensation-lawyer.html
and of course your state bar can help you find a number of lawyers.

when more then one lawyer is involved in a claim most states only allow a single fee that is shared.





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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#4
I understand your thoughts with epidural injections. Due to the problems with epidural injections I also refuse to have them.

I have lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine issues and had an ACDF at C5-6.

I refuse epidural injections but have had trigger point injections and they greatly help with my pain.

Understand any injections will not fix the problems with the spine. Although, they due help for a limited time with the pain, sometimes.
 
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#5
Thanks everyone for your replies. and I am in SC just to let you know since I forgot to mention that before.

I briefly spoke with an attorney this morning but he said he could not really talk to me while I am still represented by the other one. This new attorney comes highly recommended and I exchanged emails with him last night. A close family friend has had him for the past 2 years for his workers comp case. This friend has very similar issues as mine but he has already had fusion surgery and is now totally disabled and has Adhesive Arachnoditis from the surgeries and epidural injections. Our friend is very pleased with him and recommended I contact him.

So what is the best least stressful way to fire the other attorney?

I am glad to know there are others that do not want to take these injections and have these surgeries. It seems people think you are either crazy or not really hurt if you refuse treatment even if it is a very risky treatment. I just know that I do not want things in my back to be worse than they already are.

 
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#6
while generally the new atty files the necessary paperwork to change attys it sounds like south carolina wants the existing atty to do so.
you could write a letter asking your atty to withdraw from the case with a copy to the carrier and the commission.

see 67-1203
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/coderegs/Ch%2067.pdf

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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#7
Arachnoditis is another reason I refuse epidurals.

My best friend has it due to an epidural, and yes it was a work comp case.

Work comp demanded she have a series of epidurals.

Now my friend is totally disabled with no chance of ever working again.
 
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#8
Bummer knees that is horrible. I feel so bad for these people that have to suffer so, it just makes my heart ache for them. And it terrifies me. And it angers me because workers comp pretty much inflicts their will on unknowing injured people and rules their lives. I have read so much and watched so many videos by doctors and it seems it is standard procedure for all back pain patients seemingly without regard for the person, just a systematic band-aid that very often inflicts more misery into their lives.

And attorneys, etc expect you to conform to this system without question. It is so very wrong. I am glad I questioned this and researched it but that is just me because I want to know everything about something to make a decision. Never follow blindly. the bible says something about this, the blind following the blind and they will both fall into a pit. Well the doctors turn a blind eye to the consequences so they are the blind guides and the patients their willing trusting blind followers.

We do not have to conform. It is our body, not theirs.

Sorry for going on a tangent. This stuff makes me very angry at doctors, pharm companies, insurance companies, they are all one big happy family with millions of unwitting subjects.


 
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#9
After speaking to a number of individuals in the medical industry I have learned that epidurals are quick money makers for doctors.

I am also told that the meds used in epidurals are used in such a manner of being off label use.

Myself I had 9 epidurals, although that was before I became aware of arachnoditis, never again will I have another one.
 
Reply
#10
Yes it is off label use. You can actually read on the FDA website that the meds used are not FDA approved and they organized a safety counsel to study the effects. There is also a youtube video of a man named Jimmy that died after 1 injection, The video is a statement made by his sister to the FDA safety board concerning epidural injections. have you seen this one?

Even after the conversation with this attorney yesterday that I need to fire, he had his secretary send me the date and time for the epidural injection that has been made for me. She sent it this evening after office hours. The place where the nurse case manager made the appointment is a radiology clinic that is part of the hospital system here where I live. On the website they have a description of the epidural injection which they say they also use a small amount of dye to make sure of the needles placement. Also I have no idea who would be performing the procedure so basically they expect me to go and have this done, knowing nothing about the person that would be doing this to me Also the dye is questionable and can result in more complications. These people are nuts, more like crazy scientists that you would see in old horror films experimenting on unsuspecting victims. LOL

anyway I was advised to send this attorney an email releasing him from services so I will do that first thing in the morning.

 
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