Posted 7/3/2014 11:43 PM (GMT -7)
Sorry that you are (still) in such pain!
I too Agree with what the others have written.
1) Find a good pain management doctor, be patient if/when you have to try various meds, therapy, drug screenings, etc. Also expect to sign a contract stating you will not get scrips from any other sources & abide by it. Read about those by searching on this site for example.
2) May be helpful to start a pain/symptom /treatment / medication log -
Your attorney may want this info - also
pain management doctors ask for descriptions (stinging, burning, stabbing, etc)
as well as sleep loss,
Medications taken (w/dosage, results like effectiveness & side effects)
Mine is a loose leaf notebook w/plastic inserts for paperwork like MRI results, etc
I did not see anyone else mention this but you should get copies of ALL of your doctors reports.
And read them!
3) interview several attorneys before 'employing' one.
4) Do not worry about returning to work until your health has improved & pain issues are being controlled. I very much understand that you want to know but imho I do not think there is anyway to even guess how long your recovery is going to take.. concentrate on here & now & yourself.I am especially sorry that you have been dealing with such callous & uncaring 'doctors'.. most of us have & it is cruel.& unneccesary. (That FCE mentioned will come after MMI - that is only after you have recovered from all your surgeries, therapy, etc & sounds like you are many months, at least, away from that.)
5) This one was the hardest for me! And just as important as the other ones.. discover something not painful, that you enjoy, to occupy your mind.. reading, puzzles, writing, watching movies/TV.. & do it.
6) only you can decide if & when to change your living arrangements. I tell myself every day that feeling trapped, being controlled by anyone is super difficult but is sometimes a necessary step toward a better future..
Workmans compensation ("WC") laws do vary by state as others have stated. I am amazed at how little WC information I've been able to find online. There are some forums, similar to this one, that WC 'victims' discuss issues that are state specific.
In my own case my company's wc insurance was very nice for the first 6 months or so ..I did not know anything had changed until my ortho dr office advised my bill was over $2,000 !!
At that time I was still working, in pain, confused & had believed the adjuster who kept saying everthing was OK. Then she quit returning my phone calls. The day after I got an attorney she called: as another poster wrote, once you have an attorney (in my state), everything goes thru them. Attorney knows what WC is suppose to do for me.
Here The attorney fees are a percentage set by the state. Paid after settlement. Mine has worked on my behalf almost 10 years & has thus far only been paid less than $1,000 - a payment ordered by commissioner at a hearing because WC stopped my temporary disability without my having reached MMI. Was a legal fee Paid separately, by WC insurance company... not out of my back payments.
Without my attorney I would have been SO MUCH WORSE OFF.
Re: your disability, again in my state, that continues until you reach MMI ( maximum medical improvement). That does not necessarily mean they will not stop it occasionally. Happened to me 3 times - so far - and was started back only after being forced to at a hearing which takes 4-8 months to schedule here.