I was reading a question from an injured worker on a legal website that I thought would be a good question for our readers.
Long and short is this guy tore his rotator cuff and had surgery. That surgery usually only takes 45 minutes or so, but the recovery time is long, often up to six months. For the first 6-8 weeks after the surgery you have to wear a sling.
A meddlesome nurse case manager spoke to his surgeon and said that the company had a desk job for him where he had to do nothing but sit at a desk. If you read my blog you know that I warn you not to allow nurse case managers to talk to your doctor. This is a classic example as to why. The nurse basically bullied the doctor in to writing a light duty note to return to work without thinking it through as he didn’t want to be bothered.
The problem is this worker lives in the country by himself. His arm is in a sling and he’s on a lot of pain medications. In other words, he can’t drive himself to work without risking his own life and that of others.
It would be one thing if he lived in Chicago and could take public transportation down to the loop for his job. It’s a whole other ballgame when you live in a place that you have to drive in order to get anywhere.
In a case like this, his “light duty” restrictions should also include no driving. The doctor who didn’t want to be bothered now needs to be called by this patient. The company is within their rights to provide transportation and that would be a great solution for everyone.
Unfortunately, what seems to be happening here is the insurance company is using dirty tricks to limit what they have to pay. It’s not a shocker.
The big picture for you as an injured worked is to know that you must make yourself aware of your rights and protect yourself. I don’t want this to sound like a cheesy blog post where I say you have to hire us, but the honest answer is that whether it’s someone in our statewide network or another attorney you find on your own, if you have a serious injury you do need a work comp lawyer to protect you. Insurance companies play games and while it would nice if they did everything right, they usually don’t.