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Wyoming - No idea what to do
#1
I work for an independant contractor doing flooring, as an employee.
While unloading 850 pound rolls of vinyl to stock a jobsight, we typically have two guys inside the truck pushing the roll until it's hanging about halfway off the lift for the truck, we use pieces of a broom stick as rollers, laying them out about 2 feet apart then rolling the roll from side to side to it's on top of them to make it easier. (the truck lift unfolds out from the bottom underneath the back of the truck, then uses hydraulics to raise and lower. The truck is about 4 feet off the ground). The two guys up top sit on the roll and as they stand it tilts to the ground, where a third guy places that end on a cart. With the cart under one end we can scoot the cart out and pull the roll further toward the back, stopping with about 1 foot of the roll still on the truck. One guy then hops out of the truck and moves to the middle of the roll, the guy on the ground braces up the roll or lifts it with a bar, and the middle guy pulls the cart into the center of the roll. Ta Da! You've just moved an 850 pound roll of vinyl safely. Once it's on the cart it's completely portable.
-Well, we had already moved all but 2 of our rolls of vinyl, and I'm the guy who hops out of the truck and pulls the cart into the center of the roll. While hopping out I had my hands on top of the roll to steady myself and just hopped down, but I landed on the rollers and twisted my foot to the side, spraining my ankle and tearing everything on the left side of my left ankle (found this out later, all I knew was it hurt). This was at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and my boss rushed me straight home and told me that as long as it didn't swell it wasn't broken, and it would be fine by monday. So I went to work the next day and hopped around trying to do what I could with snapping lines and floor prep and the few things I could do on it. It was Friday, so I hoped the weekend would help. Both nights and the entire weekend I kept my foot up and used rice pads to keep it heated.
On monday I told my boss I think I need to go to the doctor. My ankle was the size of a softball, and my foot was so swollen I had to pull my laces out to where they couldn't be tied just to fit it in my shoe. He got angry and said they wouldn't do anything for me at all, and they'd force me to stop working and I wouldn't be able to pay my bills or anything. I've never hurt myself at work other than a piece of metal in my eye once that just resulted in getting it taken out and going back to work the next day, so I had and have no idea about workers comp.
I left early that day because of the pain, and the next day (tuesday, the 28'th) he started acting like I wasn't injured at all. I had to carry adhesive buckets (about 50 pounds a piece), a 100 pound roller, several cuts of vinyl that weighed over 70 pounds, and by the end of the day my ankle was far worse, which I showed him and he said he'd hurt his ankle before and it was totally normal.
The 29'th we were doing prep and line snapping, so I just hopped and limped my way through it.
The 30'th my ankle and foot were so swollen and bruised I couldn't put my shoe on, and I couldn't sleep the night before because no only was my ankle throbbing all the way up to my knee, but my other ankle, knee, and my back were all too sore from limping around and trying to carry things on one foot for me to get comfortable. I left for work and had my girlfriend schedule a docters appointment for me at 3:00 pm. I told my boss that I was going to see the docter, at which point he got completely irate, saying I didn't need to go to the docter and it would be fine, and all that would happen is I wouldn't be able to work and I'd lose my apartment and car etc. etc.
I went anyway, which resulted in a perscription for pain medication and an immediate x-ray. The Docter and X-ray tech both told me it took about half an hour for the docters office to be able to pull up my x-rays on their computer, but it ended up taking clear until Tuesday to get the results.
I was perscribed more pain pills, crutches, and told that everything was tore on the left side of my left ankle, but nothing was broken. They said I could go back to work but I was definitely not supposed to lift anything, and I should be on my crutches as often as possible and off them as little as possible. I was told my leg and ankle on the other foot were just sore and would be fine, but if my back pain doesn't stop I need to see a chyropractor or come back for more pain meds. I have a followup in 1 month.
I told my boss everything, and he plainly said 'I'm not carrying anything, that's your job. If you can't do it, I'll hire someone else until you see the docter again in a month'
So basically that's where I am now. My boss has disputed paying disability benefits, and refuses to help me with where I should go or what I should do. He even tried to talk the nurse into not giving me an X-ray, and gave me a total rat race trying to get his workers comp ID number to get my perscriptions.
I have signed up online to see the status of my case, but I've only found 2 lawyers that handle personal injury in my town. I called them both, and one my boss had already hired so he refused to help me or refer me to anyone else. The other ones secratery called me back and said we could meet to talk about my case as early as the second week of July.

I just have no idea what to do or what's involved at this point. I have no idea how I'm going to pay my bills, or even if I CAN go to a chyropractor without my boss telling me it's ok.
Any advice by email or here would be greatly appreciated
--Dan
 
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#2
Contact the Workers' Safety and Compensation Division at (307) 777-7441. Wyoming is what they call a "monopolistic" state for work comp, meaning, the state handles the claims, not an insurance company.

The statute exempts "independent contractors" from having to have coverage, but in most states they still have to have coverage for any employee's. In not sure about Wyoming.

Contact the number above and they can tell you what your options are.
 
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#3
From the way I take it, you have filed a work comp claim for the injury. Next, you may wish to contact your bosses work comp Insurance Carrier, and make sure they know you were injured.

You can then call your State work comp board, or read on the web site, on how long you have to wait till you obtain a TTD check from the Insurance carrier.

Once you know the length of time, within a week or two past that, you should get paid. At about a rate of 66 2/3 you average pay.
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
 
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#4
Jeez I really appreciate you guys filling me in!
I called the number and they said the case is under review still, so I'll have to check back later, but it's sure great to know a little bit about what to expect now!
Thank you so very much!

--Dan
 
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#5
Sounds like you work for a real a-hole. I hope you can get what you need/deserve for treatment and then some. I think I would find a new job when your better, If he is giving you this much trouble over something so simple, whats it going to be like when someone get seriously injured (not to belittle your injury). I have worked with these liftgates on these trucks and it sounds very dangerous. OSHA would definetly not like seeing that. Hmmm anyone got the number for OSHA?
 
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#6
What really got me about this boss was he still made you carry the buckets while knowing you were in pain. That tells me right there that he does not care for the people that work for him besides all the other rude, uncareing acts he did after your injury. All he cared about was his wallet. I would sure look for another job after you are well. Good luck.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
 
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#7
Holy Cow!!
Thank you so much for that number!!!
I got a call back just a second ago. My boss had put down that I make 10 dollars an hour rather than 18, he put down a disconnected phone number as my contact number that I have never heard of, and he wrote a letter saying he thought I was limping before I actually hurt myself and that he wasn't sure if I was hurt on the job!
My caseworker called my Docter and they conference called me to release the information to my case worker, and the Docter verified that there's no way I could have worked, in his opinion, with an ankle that tore and swollen and not been totally obvious about the injury. He verified that it definitely would have had to happen that day.
So Bossman's in quite a bit of trouble, they're covering me for 66% of my TTD at my correct wage, and they're also paying for my Chiropractor which I thought I would have to go out of pocket for.
If I hadn't gotten that number this morning I would quite literally be out on my ass now!

Thank you so much again!

--Dan
 
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#8
Thats great Dan, You came to the right place for help.I hope everything goes smoothly for you now!!!
 
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#9
fencer11 Wrote:Sounds like you work for a real a-hole. I hope you can get what you need/deserve for treatment and then some. I think I would find a new job when your better, If he is giving you this much trouble over something so simple, whats it going to be like when someone get seriously injured (not to belittle your injury). I have worked with these liftgates on these trucks and it sounds very dangerous. OSHA would definetly not like seeing that. Hmmm anyone got the number for OSHA?

Ugh I know, I know.
It's so weird too. He's a Jahovah's Witness, doesn't cuss, in every way a stand up guy. But every old employee of his that I've ever talked to says he's the most crooked boss they've ever met. When he came to give me my copies of the paperwork so I could get crutches he was STILL drilling me to come in to work and help him make the deadline, and trying to talk me into pulling my claim. He said he'd help pay my docters bills out of his pocket, but I had to pull my claim first.
What a fricken joke.
In all honesty tho, I don't have any better choice. There aren't any good jobs out here, and I worked my ass off the last year and a half to get to where I am. I started out at $7.50 an hour with less than 6 months experience, and now I'm finally seeing it pay off. I really do wish I could find some better place to go, but with the oilfield basically gone and no tech jobs around, I'm pretty much stuck.
 
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#10
sparkey Wrote:What really got me about this boss was he still made you carry the buckets while knowing you were in pain. That tells me right there that he does not care for the people that work for him besides all the other rude, uncareing acts he did after your injury. All he cared about was his wallet. I would sure look for another job after you are well. Good luck.

I couldn't believe it either!
I even made a point on Tuesday to show him how swollen my ankle was, and I told him to try to remember how big it is. Then after work I showed him how much worse it was working on it and even took my shoe off to show him it was my whole foot that was hurt, not just some little sprain. Still nothing phased him. He's lazy, arrogant, and totally heartless when it comes to making a dollar. I really wish I could find something better, or even just a small step down, but literally the job market out here either pays alot or pays nothing, and I'm not educated enough to go into another field other than computers, and I'm not well off enough to buy my own tools and work for myself yet.
I am trying my best tho, and I have a waste not want not attitude about it. Hopefully while I recover something good will come my way.
 
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