Legal Question in Workers Comp in California

Hurt my back twice at work . Had MRI two bulging disk, Epidural injection & nerve test & PT no help, nerve test neg. Dr doesn't want surgery but is aware that I have pain in my back and left leg when I bend certain ways. My doctor authorized light duty workload of 25 lbs maximum and restricted bending and movements. My employer has said that there is no light duty available.

-My question is can my Dr. legally release me knowing of my current medical conditions and limitations to normal duties. My profession is in construction. What are my rights and my current options regarding this situation.

Thank you

Asked on 4/23/13, 2:50 pm

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2 Answers from Attorneys


You need to be placed on Total temporary disability (TTD) status and continue medical treatment and receive benefits until your condition improves so later in future your restriction can be lifted. So you may need additional therapy, injections even surgery to be able to work in future with no restriction. If your restriction is permanent then you need to settle your case up to the maximum and find another job other than construction work. Feel free to call us at 213.388.7070 for a free consultation.

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Answered on 4/23/13, 7:50 pm

Nancy Wallace Nancy Wallace Atty at Law

Your rights?? Americans With Disabilities Act says you get the job back if you can perform ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS. Cannot say what the 'essential job functions' of "construction' entails.

Your Options? IF THE REPORT is a final one -- the condition is PERMANENT, no longer temporary -- your option is only the Qualified MEdical Evaluation to see what that doc writes.

YES THE DOCTOR CAN LEGALLY write you out of your job. If this physician writes your condition is permanent and you cannot lift more than 25lbs for life and cannot perform bending movements freely without re-injuring yourself or increasing the permanent disability, then you are jobless and APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

The doctor can write whatever he wishes. If you are with the wrong doctor, it's time to switch immediately.

If the doctor already wrote that this problem is permanent, it's too late. you're already sort of 'attached' to this guy. once the treater writes you are permanent & stationary or at Maximum Medical Improvement, you are saddled with their opinion for life.

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Answered on 4/25/13, 11:06 am

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