I had a workers comp claim filed in 2008 when I was injured in a car accident (other driver at fault) while working. At the time, the insurance company offered a minor settlement, as my injury was considered "soft tissue damage." Although the W/C case was closed, we did not accept the insurance company's settlement.
I was seen twice at a local hospital/urgent care center but they did not perform XRays.
However, a later dated x-ray revealed a fractured vertebrae. For the past two years, I have been seen regularly for degenerative back pain. The degeneration is likely a result of the fracture, as I am an otherwise healthy and active (at least I used to be) young woman. Treatments include annual MRI's and quarterly spinal injections as well as internist, specialist, and surgical consults plus physical therapy.
Is this simply a W/C case that needs to be reopened or would malpractice be involved with the case? MN has a strict statute of limitations on malpractice. The incident occured over 5 years ago, but I was only made aware of the fracture in the past 6 months. I'm also curious about the responsibilities of the attorney who did not do his due dilegence when I went to him 4 years ago for review of the case.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your work comp claim may still be open. Even if you settled it, there are ways to reopen the case. So, I would look into the avenue first. Medical malpractice claims are also possible, but I cannot comment on that.
From the you've provided, you had two claims for sure at the time of the work-related incident. You had a workers' compensation claim and a claim against the at-fault driver and his/her insurance company. The statute of limitations on the auto claim is 6 years. It is unclear from the information you provided if the work comp claim has been closed either wholly or partially.
Donald W. Kohler
Attorney at Law
4525 Allendale Drive
White Bear Lake, MN 55127