You Can't Help An Injured Worker Who Doesn't Want Help
Here's a rant.
I had a really frustrating call with the relative of an injured worker lately. Their family member was catastrophically injured on the job and has been left a paraplegic. They spent months in a rehab facility and were eventually discharged to home. The issue since they've been at home is that it's been almost a month and they haven't been able to get in house physical therapy. They do have a nurse, but the family believes the person is very unqualified as they haven't treated a similar patient in the past. The insurance adjuster told the wife of the injured worker that they had to use this specific nurse.
There are a ton of red flags in this situation. The most pressing of course are the lack of physical therapy and trouble with the nurse. It's a problem that we or any other reputable work comp law firm can solve. The injured worker, if his doctor ordered physical therapy, should get it. There is no reasonable dispute that a paraplegic would need that. A quick call to the adjuster from an attorney should solve that problem.
As for the nurse, the insurance adjuster lied. They don't get to pick your medical providers. You get to do that. So we'd simply fire that nurse and get a better one in place.
The family hasn't gotten a lawyer despite the serious injury and the worker getting walked all over. They told their relative that they didn't want to make waves or get anyone upset!!!
I will never understand that mentality. They aren't suing anyone, they are making a claim for benefits. That is happening with or without a lawyer. An attorney just formalizes the process and protects you. This person and his wife have what is a life altering injury and they are getting abused by an insurance adjuster who doesn't care about them.
Aside from the problems they know about, they likely don't realize that the insurance company can be made to modify their home to make it wheel chair accessible. They can likely get a van or other vehicle to make sure he can travel around as needed. In fact anything a doctor thinks he needs to aid his recovery and life can likely be available.
I let the relative know what we can do, but don't expect to hear from anyone. You can't help an injured worker who doesn't want the help. It's true in serious injury cases like this and those that are not as problematic. There is a mentality that almost never can be overcome. They are getting taken advantage of in a terrible way and are worried about hurting their abuser.
All we could do is make clear that we are here for a free consultation whenever they want and happy to help if they want. But 23+ years of being a lawyer has taught me that you almost never can help an injured worker who doesn't want the help. You only can hope that they don't have regret down the road before it's too late.
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