Legal Question in Workers Comp in Louisiana

Need Advice....

I had a work injury on 8/2003,that went from my lower neck area all the way down my back.I saw a few docs.and was told it was a strained muscle in my back. Then was told that it is all psychosimatic. Now i am seeing a different orthopaedist that did a myleogram and a nerve conduction test and they show I have a severely ruptured disc in my neck and it is leaking spinal fluid plus it is also pressing into my spine. I also have nerve damage. I am having problems from my head down to my lower back that also goes down to my feet on one side, plus my arms. The orthopaedist says i need surgery but it has been denied. Have been told by WC that I need a 2nd opinion. It has been almost 3 weeks now and when i have called them all i hear is they are having trouble finding another doc. My 1st question is what can i do about the type of treatment i got from the first few docs and therapist i saw and the 2nd question is how long should i wait for the appointment for the 2nd opinion concerning surgery and also what can i do about the denial for surgery..i am in constant pain, tingling and shocking sensations, swelling, headaches, and i sleep about 2 to 3 hrs. a nite when i am able to sleep,and getting worse as time lingers on.

Asked on 8/20/04, 4:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Hardy Parkerson Retired Attorney; now Law Professor
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Re: Need Advice....

Dear LawGuru Friend,

Sorry about your disabling accident! You have a complicated problem here. First of all, watch out and make sure that you have filed a workemen's compensation claim with the State of Louisiana, Department of Labor, Office of Worker's Compensation (Form 1008) within one year of the (1) date of the disabling accident, or (2) from the date of the last compensation payment. YOu say WC is saying you need a second opinion that you need surgery. Are you talking about the State Office of WC or the employer's office of WC or the employer's WC insurance company's representative? It makes a lot of difference. If you need surgery, you are not obligated to wait a long time to get it; but if nobody is standing by saying that they will pay for the surgery, then the doctor and/or hospital will not do the surgery; therefore, as a practical matter, what the third-party decides is of consequence. Have you filed your 1008 with the state Worker's Compensation office? If so, then you can seek an order ordering the employer to pay for the surgery. Neither the employer nor his workmen's compensation insurer can make you wait an unreasonable period of time awaiting a second opinion. I suggest you contact a worker's compensation attorney in your town and discuss your legal problems concerning this matter with him or her. There is more to it all than this, but this is something to consider. Best of luck!

Sincerely,

Hardy Parkerson, Atty.

Lake Charles, LA

Read more
8/21/04, 7:04 pm

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