Need Advice On Getting Back After The Fall...

Topic 24539 | Page 3

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Susan D. 's Comment
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Even if you were at fault, it was still WC covered. The splitting hairs comment.. the heart of the matter is at what point your company decides the WC claim ends or ended in your situation.

If I were you, I'd contact the person at your company who arranged the workman's comp claim and politely ask them directly, if you're still considered being under workman's comp, or if not, when it was ended, and what payment you are due and when you can reasonably expect to receive it.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

WC is horrible for sure. When I was in CDL school, due to my medical background and college degrees, I was offered a Safety Manager position at a large distribution center. The biggest part of the job would have been dealing with WC cases.

I don't know how to sugar coat this, but the true purpose of WC is to limit and control the company's liability in these cases. As a medical professional, I could not, with a clean conscience, take that position. I was trained and educated to actually help people who were sick or injured. I politely thanked them for offering me the position and declined, to complete my CDL school and become a professional truck driver.

WC.. ick. You're not allowed to see your own doctor and must see one that is contracted and paid for by your employer. To me, it's almost a conflict of interest between the company's benefit and your benefit.

Years ago when I was pregnant with my second child (who's now 31) I slipped on some stairs at work. I managed to catch the hand rail so I didn't hit my stomach, but I really tore up my ankle. As a heavy manufacturing facility, we had an RN on staff. She worked in the HR department officially. Helen came to my aid. I'm sitting on these steps in tears and she's thinking OMG you're extremely pregnant, going on maternity leave tomorrow, and really need to see your own doctor quickly.

She did me a solid. Our company had a wonderful healthcare plan, which employees didn't contribute a penny to, and we had absolutely no co-payment. Any care we received was 100% covered and paid for by the company. Companies sure don't offer those anymore lol.

She called my husband, and went to get a golf cart to transport me to the HR building which had a separate entrance (away from the eyes of upper level executives). The guys in my department, (I worked in the manufacturing engineering office) picked me up and carried me to the maintenance department where Helen was waiting with the cart. My husband left his work to come pick me up at the HR building and he took me to my obgyn. My employee file stated that I left early that day to begin my maternity leave. My doctor was told that I fell at home.

I wasn't worried about workman's comp because my company also paid 100% of my salary during my maternity leave of 3 months.

Those pesky ankles. Some of you know that just over 2 years ago I fell out of my truck at the Love's in Carlisle PA. While I did notify my company, I swore up and down I was okay and told them I didn't need to file a WC claim. Why? Because I'd so much rather see my OWN doctor. With my extensive medical background, I knew my ankle wasn't broken and knew how to take care of it. I sucked it up, made it home, took vacation time off to heal under the care of my own doctor. My company is awesome and they would have taken great care of me with no repercussions. But my knowledge of WC and that process.. my preference is to avoid it whenever possible, but you have to be darn sure that it's not going to be a long term injury, which is tough for an (medically) untrained person.

Now as a new employee who is not yet eligible for healthcare coverage, I'd have gone the dreaded WC route without hesitation, but WC is a dirty word in general in my opinion.

What state was this in?

I have been injured in PA and NY, and have always gone to my own doctor, or the ER.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

WC was not my preference or choice.

I was injured at work. I reported it to my face-to-face contacts. Was told to call Safety. Safety transferred me to WC. Woman took information and said I should probably see a Dr..

I am currently on Badger Care (AKA Wisconsin Medicaid). I pay nothing for it and my copays are typically $1 - $3. I paid $1 for the 800 m.g. Ibuprofen script! I only did it because (as I suspected) it was one high-dosage pill and it cost less than over-the-counter. I probably have 200 or maybe 400 m.g. @ home.

Place I went is "in network" so again... decision not made by dollars. They take WC and are billing JB Hunt. Of course I have a new statement available... haven't looked... Either way... should not be an issue.

Just trying to move forward. Not going well. Had I known more sooner I could have prepared better. If I knew a new certificate was required I would have resumed 3x daily testing... possibly in time to get 30 days before Endocrinologist takes a month off. Now it could be 2-3 months off from driving.

Not much more to this that I can see...

Any thoughts on my asking if there is something else I can do for current employer?

Anyone think I am at risk of losing the gig entirely? Wonder how the feel about having an employee and driver trainee who cannot produce a valid Federal Medical card... If my inability to drive is no longer considered an injury-related issue it seems they have no liability just terminating me. Only incentive I can see is their contribution to my (new, company-sponsored insurance) and possible accrual of PTO (not sure if that requires actually working or just being any employee). I would think at this point they may just leave things as they are but who knows? Before I will actually be able to start driving and training again I will become eligible for new insurance and will have to go on it... even though it will cost me more, cost them something and I will not be working for them yet earning the money to pay for it! Once eligible for other insurance I have to drop the Badger Care. If later let go I will wind up on COBRA!

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

If I were you, I'd contact the person at your company who arranged the workman's comp claim and politely ask them directly, if you're still considered being under workman's comp, or if not, when it was ended, and what payment you are due and when you can reasonably expect to receive it.

Thanks Susan. That sounds like a good plan. Bet it will take her a while to figure that out!

Probably should "From whom?" (will I be paid). They apparently use Ace Fire and Casualty for WC here. Ace bought Chubb Group.... Go figure!

Susan D. 's Comment
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Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and quite a few other states, your company tells you what doctors you can see in WC cases, and should you choose to see your personal physician, it's your financial responsibility and not that of the employer, since they're already paying one to see injured employees. Those doctors are under contract and essentially work for the employer. Per OSHA safety regulations, employers who have more than, I believe it's 100? employees at a location, are required by law to have a physician on contract and on call for any workplace related injuries. Smaller companies that have fewer employees tend to use a "doc in a box" type clinic like Concentra, etc. that sees WC cases. Above another threshold, they also must have a licensed RN, NP, EMT or a Paramedic physically employed and present at the facility during working hours. They wanted me to work in employee health initially, and despite me having more education than all but the Nurse Practitioner, we realized it wasn't allowed by law, so they asked me to obtain all my OSHA certifications. I did, and then split my time between education, giving safety and other training classes to new employees, and actually assisting the safety manager with WC cases at that location. As a health care professional, patient education was a part of my responsibility during all my years in the hospital setting, so it was an easy fit. Later they offered me the managers position in the Lexington KY location when it became vacant. I still have all my OSHA certifications, but honestly it's been a while since I have had to look anything up thankfully. The more I learned about how it works and the OSHA regs, the less interested I became in that career path. It's a really dirty business and I didn't have the stomach for it. Yes this was at Amazon. They have DCs in Shepherdsville, Louisville, Lexington, and Hebron, KY. Kentucky is definitely Amazonland. Amazon does this cool thing for employees. After you've been there a year, they'll pay for you to go to school.. 95% of it up to $3k per year for 4 years and a Max of $12k. They make an exception on the yearly cap to pay for CDL school, since it's so short and easily under the total cap. My CDL school cost me $200 out of my pocket and Amazon paid for it with zero obligation from me. I turned down that job in Lexington and went to CDL school instead lol. I completed the school, got my CDL, and while I'm sure they were hoping at least some of us would stay to drive for them, we weren't obligated to. In the end, not a single one of us stayed. In fact, after completing your schooling through their "Career Choice" program, if you choose not to stay, they'll pay you $2k for each year you've been with them to leave. The only catch is, you cannot return, which none of us cared to do anyway. I took my money, paid my bills for a couple months in advance, and headed to Cedar Rapids on the ole grey dog to go through orientation and training at West Side Transport. It was nice having everything lined up and plenty of cash while I was in training. So often new drivers are so strapped for cash during that time, it makes a stressful time even more so. I definitely felt blessed to be in such a situation and finally doing something that I loved once again.

My unique situation was the ONLY reason I didn't seek out a company sponsored school and attended the community college program instead. A company sponsored school would have certainly got me better training. Had I had to pay for it out of my own pocket, company school it would have been. And if I wanted the cash bonus (and my stock) at the end, I couldn't just quit and had to do it Amazon's way. Between my buyout payment, sale of my stock, and my tax refund that year.. I walked out the door with almost $9k and a smile on my face as they escorted me out.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

"Between my buyout payment, sale of my stock, and my tax refund that year.. I walked out the door with almost $9k and a smile on my face as they escorted me out."

THAT'S A PRETTY COOL STORY SUSAN!!!

So guessing WI might be "one of those States" with company Drs. but the Target DC is the work location which produced the WC insurance company. Certainly not 100 J.B. Hunt workers there. Unless they go by size of the corporation...

Growing up we had a family friend who was an Orthopedic Surgeon. He took good care of me when I came back from Steamboat Springs, CO with s torn Achilles tendon. He was a "company Dr." in his private practice. When you hurt your back at work he was the Dr. they sent you to who would (reportedly, most likely) say you were fine. He was known in the Milwaukee area medical community as " 'Zero' Shapiro" - (Shapiro was his family name). I think it was because of the # of patients he saw who were certified to have sustained a work-related injury!

To be clear... I was told I should probably see a Dr.. They did not tell me which one(s) to see!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Susan / Grumpy / Tim.

Yeah... that sounds about right.

Just to clarify... I admit I fell! Purpose of 3 POC is to prevent falls. I fell so clearly I did something wrong or failed to do it right!

BUT... my honest belief is that I had 3 POC, missed the step and lost my grip while holding on to smoothly painted grab rails with my slippery gloves. To anyone but me not fixated on all 3 points I would think that would look like I just let go. Who knows! Maybe I did.

At this point the only issue i can see which matters is even if I was 100% liable, am I eligible for WC? Does my level of negligence (whatever the %age) make me ineligible for WC?

Susan, you are correct. I was cleared physically... 1st by Radiologist who viewed X-rays (fell Tuesday... OK to return w.o. restriction following Monday). Then after the EFA (Range of Motion) tests (tested Thursday, cleared Friday).

I tried to go back Wed., (new trainer was off Monday and Tuesday). I was told I needed the new DOT physical which I passed (Thursday) but ould not receive the new medical certificate. While that prevents me from driving a CMV it is not due to the physical injury per se... it is due to the inability to satisfy the paperwork requirements necessary to get a new Federal Medical certificate (which is a requirement to return to work after the fall).

Sounds like I will be lucky to get a week or of back pay as the physical injury portion will probably be counted at something between 6 - 10 days or so, depending on what "approval" one accepts. (I would think the last physical approval in the chain would be the right date... paperwork aside. Haven't been able to find how the amount is determined...

To be clear... blood sugars are great! Readings are 90 - 127 over several days... essentially "normal". (80 fasting and 120 2-hours after a meal is considered "normal" AND there is about a 10% margin of testing error (so 100 = 90 = 110!). The issue is I don't have the data needed to support getting the form signed and when I do the Endocrinologist will probably be out of the country. Primary care physician could do it but he may require even more data.

Tim, are you saying my "slippery glove" "explanation" was what happened in your case too or did you just leap off carelessly like it appears I may have???

If the glove fits... oh f!@# it!

Be safe everyone!

No. What I’m saying is W.C. is a pain in the butt and to avoid at all cost. I was stepping off the back of a trailer doing an inside delivery. I misjudged the distance to the ground and lost my balance twirled around and fell at the same time...right on my shoulder. In most states W.C. is a no fault insurance so how you got hurt is irrelevant.

Again, good luck moving forward and advoid W.C. if at all possible in the future. BTw...my company knew if the fall and never sent me to a doctor. I did fill out a report to cover their ass. In retrospect (for a few months after) I regretted not seeing docs....now it’s back to relatively normal function so I don’t think about it at all.

My overall guess is they will bare with you and get everything straightened out.

Good luck

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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