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New Jersey Back Injury problems with W/C Doctor
I'm a police officer and I suffered a back injury on the job in the very beginning of February this year. I went to the Emergency room the night of the injury, where the doctor there said I had at least a severely sprained back. The next morning, I went to Meridian Occupational Health (my employers workman's comp doctor). The doctor touched my back for about 15 seconds and said he thought it wasn't that bad. He sent me back to work the same day on light duty in lieu of the treatment and medicine I was supposed to perform for the injury, ie was told to hold off on meds until off duty that night and couldn't do hot/cold treatments while at work. I then had three regularly scheduled days off and the doctor deemed me fit to return to work full duty 4 days later and did not schedule me for a re-evaluation appointment prior to returning to work.

Since then, I have had recurring pain and stiffness. I have never had a back injury before so I figured it was just part of the recovery (I did however make sure not to do any activity to strain my back since the original injury). However, while at a shooting range for qualifying recently, at one stage of the shoot, my back gave out (same exact side and spot as the original injury). I did submit a form with my employer and I am waiting for their response.

My main concern is that I believe the workman's comp doctor is a hack and is rushing people back to work instead of properly treating them (I, of course, have no proof, but have heard stories from five other people at work relating to similar problems with the same doctor). If I'm sent back, what recourse do I have. Can I refuse treatment by this doctor and request another physician? If it turns out that the injury is more serious (such as a tear), what recourse do I have against the original workman's comp doctor, who did not request an MRI, nor a follow up visit prior to my returning to work. Thanks for any help or input in this situation.
ask for a second opinion from a different dr.
Each day is not a rite,it's a given.

If I were you I would set up an appointment with your own primary doctor and tell him it was a work injury. Make sure you still fill out the form at work as a work injury also. The reason this doctor is sending you back to work before 4 days is because after the fourth day out they will have to pay you. Also some places of employment if they give you medication ( narcotics) it is considered a recordable and is a mark against the company. I know that is how it works in the construction field.

I have seen this happen last year on two occassions where two people were injured and given narcotics and had to give the prescription back to the ER so that it would not reflect on the company as a recordable. This goes as a mark against the company if they were to go for any job bids as safety incidents. Maybe it is just something of a pulled muscle or a strain but you want to make sure there is not a slipped disc or something that will be worse and catch it early on. This your primary care doctor could order test for or if he feels you need time off and put you on muscle relaxers he could order that also. Just make sure you tell him it happened it at work.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
The Others that have Answered You have given You Very Valuable Info., and in Your Situation, You should have a Second Opinion as Posted. You have a Job that a Bad Back could be the Difference between Life and Death if You were put in the Situation where You had to Defend Yourself Hand to Hand! Thank You for the Service You Provide, You are to be Commended for the Job You Do! Make Sure and get that Second Opinion, Be Safe, and Again Thanks for Your Service!!Wink
Most workers comp Drs are hacks. They work for the insurance company. They are paid by the insurance company. They favor the insurance company. Be sure to take someone with you on all your comp dr appts. Have them document everything he says and does. Also pays to document on your IC adjuster .
7 Yr survivor of the NY State workers compensation system
oblivyous Wrote:Most workers comp Drs are hacks. They work for the insurance company. They are paid by the insurance company. They favor the insurance company. Be sure to take someone with you on all your comp dr appts. Have them document everything he says and does. Also pays to document on your IC adjuster .

I had a back injury at work; I reported it right awayand was not send to the doctor; however the pain got worse as days went by
I saw my private doctor 3 weeks after the accident at work; he sent me for a mri and suggeted this was a work injury;Iam going for a 3 level laminectomy due to 3 herniated disks and one tear
it took WC 6 months to investigate my case; they went throught my medical records of 10 years and finnaly accepted my case since I had no history of back problems.. I wish you good luck;

Sparkey hit the nail on the head.....it all boils down to $$$$ sadly.

Good luck Theroos17, I pray you haven't severely injured your back! Lilly
Injured worker, & tired of it all! I'm too old for games!!

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may level stress, and a loving word may heal and bless!

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