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Let’s keep the Global Workers’ Compensation Discussions — real!
#DodgeTheRads and remember remember….
WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW and for that WE ARE RESPONSIBLE!
Primary Author: LINDA AYRES, INJURED WORKER – Disabled, Blogger4Freedom
Reasons for Nomination: WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW; One of her mottos is:
“I BLOG, THEREFORE I AM A WORK COMP SURVIVOR. BE ONE, TOO”
(Write whatever you like…. you can even say your reason for the nomination is you don’t blog yet, and she does, and she tells it like it is, or….simply say, BECAUSE SHE ASKED A BUNCH OF US TO at the first of the month and again today)!
Your Email: [create a NEW email just for your WorkComp ‘media’ work…
Your Telephone: [your call…looks like a required field]
Your Employer: [I put “Disabled, Blogger4Freedom on the nominations I made]
As you probably realize, I am a WorkComp Survivor….. brain injury sustained 1/9/12….. “I BLOG, THEREFORE I AM A WORKCOMP SURVIVOR.”
The parties in my case “reached resolution, subject to confidentiality agreement” and since I know what I know, I cannot just walk away. I will do what I can to incite more discussions on the real and horrific issues that every Injured Worker in America, in Canada and Australia face….. for starters.
WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW…… As individual cases are resolved, each win is a win for us all. I was told repeatedly, by professional friends, “GET OUT OF THE WORK COMP SYSTEM BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. IT WILL KILL YOU.”
Easier said than done, particularly with a brain injury. The stories I have received via email and by phone make my situation look more like a “walk in the park” comparatively! I am so sorry for the pain and suffering you still endure. All together, we’ll find a way out of this, kicking and screaming, occupying virtually, and dodging the rads.
Below is a copy of a post on LinkedIn. That’s where the INFLUENCERS ARE. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, consider getting one immediately.
You may also seriously consider a Facebook PAGE (use WorkComp or Injured Worker in the name) and Twitter account and a fresh gmail or email account….include WorkComp or InjuredWorker in your user names, along with Pinterest.
Most importantly, A BLOG from which to document and tell your own story.
KEEP IT SEPARATE FROM YOUR PERSONAL EMAILS AND PERSONAL LIFE. USE IT AS A MICROPHONE….
Speak to the influencers in WorkComp and in your Industry. We’ll talk more about how to build your own database and sphere of influence.
If YOU are UNABLE to do these things, enlist a friend, family member or neighbor to help you. PEOPLE WILL HELP, IF YOU ASK CLEARLY AND SPECIFICALLY…… from a point of power, not victim-hoood, nor from learned helplessness.
If you have an attorney, you might check for counsel on these suggestions. I know of but few attorneys who have actually protected their clients, and secured medical care and moved toward resolution.
I am working on mastering either Mail Chimp or GoDaddy’s email campaigns to better stay in touch with each of you, and those to join us. Till I figure out how to use the email campaigns, if you don’t want to receive further emails, please simply hit REPLY and put REMOVE FROM LIST in the subject line, thank you. (If you know how to easily use Mail Chimp, please please put it in writing so we can all learn….and maximize impact!)
For now, we’ll simply stick with BLOGS, E-mails and BCC copies. Build you own database, and create your own mailing list, too. We Work Like Ants! Remember that.
I know of only 3 Injured Worker Blogs……the industry has many, and they annually recognize their Top 25. Does that tell you that injured workers that DO NOT have blogs are essentially “unarmed” in the fight for their lives? That’s what it tells me. Vlogs count. Podcasts count! Webinars Count. eCourses count. Phone calls count. Posts count. Pins count. Tweets count. The fire-power is in the BLOG.
Quick story…. a doctor, in 2013, suggested that since I was blogging about the Fukushima nuclear disaster pre-injury, that it might help me to “write about” my WorkComp experiences. I thought the doctor meant BLOG ABOUT IT, that’s what I heard.
I was afraid. I used to be extremely brilliant, and I was afraid that people would know about and judge my ‘cognitive deficits’ but I wrote anyway.
I tip-toed around about it. When I finally realized that “OMG. My LIFE IS AT STAKE HERE!!” is when I began to blog openly and without fear or caution.
In the group, NAIDW.org – National Association of Injured and Disabled Workers – in one group, an injured law enforcement guy told us all that we needed to start “naming names” and I thought, “Oh! Yikes. Ok, if you say so!” so I listed all the doctors I had seen to date, by name, with diagnosis etc…… the rest is what it is!
We have received a few stories that apparently were not submitted to the ProPublica/NPR investigative reporters last year, or were not selected.
If you have not read the series last year, you must. It has rattled the cages of WorkCompsters, and momentum is building….and you can be assured that the WorkCompsters will do everything possible, “by any means necessary” to ensure their billlions of dollar profits are not impacted by the bad news reaching the public about WorkComp practices.
Focus on what you realllly reallly want and need to get out from under the oppression and destruction of Workers Compensation, plan to share further on that.
It’s not about money—-it’s about your health, your life and your ability to survive and compensate for your injuries and disabilities. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT; the Universe tends to meet our exact expectations.
ps…. I was nominated and selected as one of the top 4 finalists at the WorkCompCentral CompLaude Awards event in 2014. I met several very nice people at that event, and I ‘crashed’ a few other industry conferences and collected some business cards and marketing materials and others, and I was also invited as a guest of a Judge to visit the Exhibit Hall of the California Applicant Attorney’s Association Winter 2014 conference, where I met more wonderful people. In 2016 I was invite by a kind attorney to attend their Winter Conference, anniversary gala celebrating ’50 or 60 years of protecting injured workers’ [That’s questionable!]
Anyhow, CAAA made it clear that NO INJURED WORKERS ARE WELCOME AT ANY OF THEIR EVENTS, so I accepted a dis-invitation to the event…. You know the ol sayings…”Something is terribly wrong in this country….” and ‘We do not forgive; We do not forget….EXPECT US.”
I have tried to encourage these groups to open their hearts and doors to Injured Workers, with little success. WorkComp Central, to date, is the only group I have found that embraces Injured Workers and warmly welcomes them. To save some time and energy, I will copy also the people on that email list, so that perhaps we can forge some links over the chasms of “us and them” and …. dunno, might make this a blog, too…..
For the people in the WorkComp industries, we will be organizing some interviews and a possible TELE-SUMMIT to share your perspective on what needs to happen for immediate WORKCOMP TRANSFORMATION…short of ‘SENDING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD’ to protect injured workers from the current systems. WATCH THE BLOGS FOR COMING SOON DETAILS…. EXPECT US.
Below is the LinkedIn referenced post, for your info:
#Blog4TheCure! #Blog4Freedom! March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Got Brains? #DodgeTheRads2
Brain Injury – BEFORE and AFTER WorkComp
Ask also about Opiate Traffic and “Failed Surgeries” then FOLLOW THE MONEY!
Ask about a WorkComp Insurance plan that could provide “immediate, reasonable and appropriate medical care” where doctors are screened for “Angel of Death” characteristics and set up a FRAUD/CRIME HOTLINE directly to DOJ for Injured Workers to contact in the event of suspected fraud, collusion and worse.
Equip all Injured Workers with a Livescribe Pen (iPhone & Android adaptable) to RECORD ALL MEDICAL/LEGAL EVALUATIONS AND HEARINGS, with a designated DOJ address to submit recordings of suspicious events. It would save dollars on the SS-type wasteful ’employee surveillance’ procedures used also to deny medical care. Cops and Firefighters find them reprehensible, too!
Make sure your LTD policy is not just a money-fronting scam that tries to confiscate any retro-pay when costs are shifted to SSA. Injured Workers refer to the practice as “MAGIC MATH” where insurance companies are relieved of any and all risks, and risks and costs are shifted anywhere else but to the carriers.
Right now, in the USA and elsewhere, Injured Workers have essentially NO PROTECTION from anywhere. What a shame!!!
If you’re afflicted by WorkComp maladies, or know someone who is, check with your State Senator and if it has escalated to embrace SSA, check with your Congressional Representative for help.
Remember the October 2015 letter from Federal Lawmakers offering law enforcement assistance. Pass it on to your own representatives, too, and to your friends and neighbors, along with the response from Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. You can find those links also in this blog:
Will you be there on Saturday, December 5, 2015? Did you see David’s videos asking about YOUR nominations?
Nomination Deadline Extended to NOMINATE A PERSON
Individual * Leadership * Medical * Legal * Injured Worker
Nominate A Company
Employer * Service
You Haven’t Nominated Yet? (See what David DePaolo has to say about THAT in THIS video!)
I’m working on my nominations today! We have a few more days….Deadline pressures! C’mon, David and his team can’t find all the good peeps by themselves. Submit at least one—perhaps in every category.
As an Injured Worker (one of last year’s 4 finalists!), I am very grateful for the energy and work David and his team have put into the CompLaude Awards, and the open discussion about the challenges facing Americans everywhere. I am very grateful to have attended a few industry events, and thereby discover there are some good people in this life-destroying system.
In my case, TBI injury was 1/9/12 and in May 2015, I was finally Awarded Social Security Disability benefits [cost shifting complete, huh?]
WorkComp carrier did provide a few more chiropractic sessions since we last met, and now, with Medicare, now I get to see legitimate doctors, with legitimate evaluations and LEGITIMATE TREATMENTS. I have some hope now. The movie, CONCUSSION, may serve to shake up the WorkComp industry soon.
Would you believe I have been evaluated by 39 doctors, most all recommendations for treatment denied or severely modified since date of injury, and the CorVel denials include reams of paperwork since 2013, and a team of 20…. their names are all listed in the blog AAIWN blog:
WORKERS’ COMP TRAIN WRECK – WHO HAS BEEN NAUGHTY AND WHO HAS BEEN NICE?
David DePaolo is collecting the Nice list, the teams at ProPublica are collecting the ‘naughty’ list… and I’m contributing to BOTH! ;p
Every movement needs a Flower, and every movement needs it’s ‘screamers and whistlers’…. The Work of ProPublica, in particular, Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes and their teams seems to be of extreme importance as the national investigations commence. Here’s David’s take on the effort…GET INVOLVED; SAVE SOME LIVES.
A new website is under construction that will also enhance the Resources page… particularly if you have services available to unrepresented Injured Workers, send me an email so we can tell the others. As you may know, of the approximately “15%” of unrepresented workers, it’s a last resort, not a first, and a good many have had unsuccessful representation by 3-5 CAAA attorneys. Follow the blog, if you will.
Remember Remember…. WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW…. CompLaude 2015 Gala coming up….get YOUR nominations in by next Tuesday.
See you there?
PS… Below is the email I sent last year….. and have been meaning to stay in touch, but my case has been…. what it is!
Sent on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 11:00 pm
Great to Meet You at the WorkCompCentral #CompLaude event
One of my favorite sayings is: WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW! This is a touch base note to wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
As an #InjuredWorker, it was great to meet you at the 3rd Annual #WorkCompCentral WorkCompLaude Awards!
As 2014 wraps up, I know we are all very busy, so let’s be in touch again in the new year. We may have mutually beneficial opportunities ahead. Did you see all the tweets at #WCCgala and #complaude? What a great educational day it was!
At first glance of all the marketing materials collected, I didn’t see too many social media resources? Are you LinkedIn? Do you Tweet? Blog? Facebook? Pin? Email? Injured Workers are Uniting and it may be mutually beneficial to share about YOUR services, observations, and expertise. (I am seizing this opportunity to try MAIL CHIMP…an expert recommended it!)
As I told David DePaolo before leaving, “It was great to meet so many wonderful people and to see that not EVERYBODY in work comp wants to kill us injured workers for profits!” He smiled and had a charming reply!
As one of the CompLaude four #InjuredWorker finalists, a fresh perspective may be useful to your communities as well. Future blogs will include more information on several of the people and groups discovered at the event, along withe some “Expert Opinions” with an aim toward saving lives of injured workers while keeping things profitable for y’all.
All the best to you and yours! Let’s MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN 2015!
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern California expects to prosecute an applicants’ attorney for his role in a scheme involving an allegedly corrupt union boss, kickbacks for client referrals, banking violations, laundering proceeds from medical marijuana dispensaries, tax fraud schemes and even the infamous Hells Angels, according to documents unsealed Wednesday by the U.S. District Court for Northern California.”
The above picture is from the 2014 CompLaude Gala — yes, I was privileged to attend, as one of four InjuredWorker Nominated Finalists.
Yes, I took plenty of “heat” from the InjuredWorker community for attending. I arrived early, and met many of the exhibitors, and even attempted to maintain contact with some.
We apparently scare them apparently as much as they can scare us. ‘Can’t we all just get along? You could be next in the casualties of the mega billion dollar profitable WorkComp industries in America.’ We gotta convince them to change the business model from “Profits Before Lives” to something more Millenial Friendly, wouldn’t you agree?
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL PEOPLE OF GOODWILL TO COME TO THE AID OF HUMANITY.
Last year, the brilliant WorkCompCentral CompLaude event was California nominees only.
THIS YEAR, #WorkCompCentral has opened it to national nominations. Next year —-perhaps will be the first international Comp Laude Awards — as our neighbors are experiencing the same tragic mis-handling of work place injuries as we are.
The Canadian, Australian and UK injured workers seem to have more of a pro-active fight against the bad stuff on social media and in the Courts, whereas the majority of industry peeps AND Injured Americans appear to be addicted and practicing learned helplessness at the hands of the not-so-nice perpetrators of the industry. It’s time for change.
FIND THOSE WORKING TO MAKE WORK COMP A SAFER SYSTEM FOR INJURED WORKERS EVERYWHERE, AND STRENGTHEN THEIR HANDS! IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?
By the way, if any Injured Workers are interested in gathering there, with an Exhibit Table so they can see that we are human, and their industry failures have life and death consequences to real human beings, let me know know also by 8/31/15 and we’ll see what we can pull together.
Maybe my employer, Wyndham Worldwide, or it’s WorkComp Carrier, CNA, or their Defense Firm, Grancell Stander Reubens Thomas Kinsey will buy a booth and a table for an eclectic group of Injured Workers to facilitate participation? My injury happened 1/9/12 —- TBI — and you know how that’s going. You too, huh?
Well, if we cannot attend the gala, we can certainly #OccupyVirtually — lots of pictures and tweeting happen at the all day event!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR; SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015. SAVE THE DATE.
Description of Comp Laude™ Awards Nomination Categories
The following five categories are restricted to INDIVIDUAL (PERSON) NOMINATIONS:
Medical Comp Laude – can be a physician, a surgeon, a nurse, a physical therapist, a pain management specialist, acupuncturist, chiropractor, etc. Anyone with a professional designation in the MEDICAL field.
Legal Comp Laude – a Judge / judicial officer, applicants’ attorney, defense attorney, etc. Anyone with a professional designation in the LEGAL field.
Individual Comp Laude – Any individual (person) who is not a medical or legal professional but carries some designation as a workers’ comp professional; i.e. a Risk Manager, Human Resources Manager, Hearing Rep, Lien Rep, Safety Coordinator; Occupational Specialist; claims adjuster; RTW / SAW coordinator; bill reviewer; etc. Anyone with a professional designation in the workers’ compensation industry that is not in the medical or legal profession.
Injured Worker Comp Laude – Any individual who has been injured on the job.
Leadership Comp Laude – Any person who is considered an industry mentor / expert professional / speaker / educator / presenter.
The following two categories are restricted to COMPANY NOMINATIONS:
Employer Comp Laude – A public or private employer company.
Service Comp Laude – Any company that provides services related to the workers’ compensation industry: legal firm, managed care company; insurance carrier; medical practice (physician group, nurse case management, physical therapy); Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM); Third Party Administrator (TPA); Medical Bill Review Services; Medical Supplies; language / translation; copy services, etc.
Thank you for your interest in the Comp Laude™ Awards!
Before you can make a nomination, WorkCompCentral asks that you login to their website and create an account. Just do it. If you have survived WorkComp, then you survive another login account and passcode. Remember, nominations are due by 8/31/15…. and you have to name people, and write something nice about them on the nomination form. Start thinking, thanks.
MEDICAL COMP LAUDE
LEGAL COMP LAUDE
INDIVIDUAL COMP LAUDE
INJURED WORKER COMP LAUDE
LEADERSHIP COMP LAUDE
Employer Comp Laude
Service Comp Laude
THINK LOCALLY * ACT GLOBALLY * OCCUPY VIRTUALLY
This has been a PSA-Public Service Message to/for/and on behalf of Injured Workers Everywhere!
A Friend recently wrote this about the years I have been fighting #WorkCompsters:
“…But their 1st choice is to kick it down the road, and make your life miserable. They’ve already done that. You have quite a trail of deceit etc. to tell at court. The trouble with judges is that they come from the legal profession. I’m back to thinking that they don’t want to go to trial. Even if they get a positive determination ~ you can appeal. And they’d like you to go away….”
CHANGE OF HEARING DATE — AGAIN – CHURN BABY CHURN – ORDER TO COMPEL ENT EVAL FOR TBI! D’OH PLUS DOCTOR SHOPPING FOR YET ANOTHER NEURO-PSYCH EVAL…. TILL YOU GET ONE TO AGREE WITH O’BRIEN? LOL….. He may have been off his meds, ya think?
Last year Fred suggested I come up with a proposal for you both. I researched and worked very hard on the calculations that I sent to both of you and the number I came up with was $1.3 million, in an acceptable structured settlement format, full complete release.
If I recall, you laughed and insisted on the same number Kim offered in Nov 2012—the standard cost of life for an injured worker in lieu of medical care ala Romano Trust vs Sedgwick—$100,000.
When Steve Chapman was involved with Dan Elliott to initiate conversations on settlement in early 2014, the number taken from my pre-SCRIPPS calculations was $700k.
What I have learned about my untreated brain injuries, risk of epilepsy, dementia and shortened life span, along with inability to work and devastating cognitive impairments…is not pretty. Your clients have effectively destroyed my life.
If there had been good faith efforts to help me get medical care and these were the results, that would be one sad story that I would have to just deal with. The abuse I have been subjected to that has caused permanent and irreparable harm is another story all together.
Make me an offer I can’t refuse.
I would imagine Steve Chapman could use his computers to do some “transparent calculations. I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me…but he may indeed do the right thing. Give him a call.
He won’t waste any more of his time time…He didn’t seem to think mediation would happen either.
I can be a reasonable woman, or not.
Tired of Fighting, but will fight till my last gasps, if necessary.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 11:57 AM
Thu, Aug 13, 2015 11:33 am
Due to the upcoming hearing, we canceled Dr. Smith’s examination date
We will be rescheduling both appointment dates for a time after the October hearing
Thu, Aug 13, 2015 1:00 pm
RE: Change of hearing date
Thu, Aug 13, 2015 2:02 pm
Churn churn Churn….
…..Your recollection and assessments are incorrect.
This is not the first incident of WCAB favoring Defense. It goes [back] to Kim [in December 2012]…..in apparent collusion with the I and A officer, giving the Judges incomplete info in order to set the Judges up, too. Tsk tsk tsk. What a web.
Its amazing what y’all can get away with, isn’t it?
WCAB denied my ADA accommodations request about this Order to Compel, then I screamed and they approved it, changed the date, then cancelled the hearing in your favor denying me due process…again. A pattern and practice of WCAB Riverside. My DOJ complaints are being updated to reflect this new act of ADA violations and request for further investigations. I have yet to be heard in over 3.5 years by a Judge re my right to medical care. [You know, that pesky little issue that’s part of the Labor Code?] Surely some decent political rep may find that at least –odd if not alarming.
[The selected mediator’s] failure to disclose her conflict of dates to commence mediation, in light of my clearly expressed timeline/deadline was the issue. Her act seems quite self-serving and un-neutral. I apologize to you for believing I had found someone we could both work with. I understand her crowd is defense based but I believed she could be neutral. Apparently, I was wrong.
[You might be right, though. I suppose I could have responded to the September 21, 2015 proposed date the two of you agreed on after you wasted several more weeks since mediation was proposed this year, with a concise, ‘WHAT PART OF “BY OR BEFORE AUGUST 24, 2015 or maybe next year” WAS UNCLEAR?’
Was I unclear also that withdrawal of the Petition for Order to Compel and ENT evaluations for a TBI, along with excessive additional doctor shopping neuro-psych eval petition was necessary, or that the 8/25/15 date would stand for due process and my right to get in front of a Judge, and that mediation to participate in further 3D practices and file churning by Defense—is not my idea of NEUTRAL MEDIATION?
Lookie here what happens…. Defense Wins Again…at the expense of another Injured Worker. (It’s no wonder there’s just a small community of mediators, huh? Just an arm of the Defense and WCAB? Thanks Mediator and Judge Hill! )
Silly me, brain injury can make communication real tough, huh? I did suggest that advance estimated PD or payment of lodging to facilitate continued participation at Coastline Acquired Brain Injury Program in Newport Beach, which commences August 24, 2015, be mediated, to no avail.]
I’m in timeshare sales, I value vacations for others also. I despise peeps who live by harming others “profits before lives”…… Had she disclosed she could not meet the 8/24/15 deadline, you and I could have made a decision. Sounds like you and she decided without me. That’s not neutral.
There are two Judges that may be willing to mediate….I think it is Judge [ ] and the other one [the mediator] mentioned in Newport Beach.
I will put out another request for another mediator list via LinkedIn, describing the difficulties we are having find a neutral party. I found an association of mediators on LinkedIn.
I’ll just keep blogging..I want to help David find some decent people to acknowledge at the WorkComp Laude* event. No easy task and he shouldn’t have to do it alone.
Linda Ayres, In Pro Per
FYI– SOS sent out on LinkedIn yesterday — For What It’s Worth!
“…I am unable to locate a PTP for you. If you locate one, please let us know the name and address of the doctor and his/her willingness to accept you as a workers Compensation Patient…” Please refer to Labor Code and Constitution of the United States of America…
Years ago I asked an ol’ Sicilian Godfather type character, “Will you tell me, please, what is the secret to making lots of money?” He said, “I will tell you. It is very simple. You find a need, then you fill it.”
What I have discovered about the majority of the members of the California Applicant Attorney’s Association membership is that they are generally burnt out, angry, disgruntled, overworked, screwed out of a decent wage by the chicanery of the Defense firms, and the end result is more casualties in the American Work Force. I’ve talked with plenty of you, from here to Northern California. Most of you have been polite and cordial, but compassion is a rare quality in your ilk, isn’t it?
In my case, people say, ‘Oh. She had 4 attorneys. She must be hard to work with.’ BLAME THE VICTIM, THAT’S HOW YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?
Because the majority of CAAA attorneys seem impotent in the Art of Negotiation, and seem to feel condemned to working for what probably figures out to be about $10.00 an hour? The end result is badly managed work comp cases, workers that don’t get medical care, and as one of the four retained and dismissed in my case advised:
“Most of my clients don’t get medical care, they lose their jobs and their homes; it’s just how it is.”
That one attempted to coerce me to accept a premature settlement offer for a 1/9/12 brain injury for the ol’ $100,000, less legal fees, in November 2012, without benefit of having seen the specialist doctors recommended repeatedly, and denied not by UR but by the adjuster and the defense counsel.
He advised that, “Nobody will believe you have a brain injury. Work comp is a small community….” I told him I was injured not stupid and that if nobody would believe it was only because he didn’t do his job and get me to brain injury doctors, as repeatedly recommended by all the evaluating doctors I had been sent to. How much money did the approximately 40 evaluating doctors plus CorVel & Maximus peeps make off my life so far? How much do the defense attorneys make by continuously harming me? And how about those adjusters and their fraud department that backs them up?
I’ve spent close to $50,000 on medical expenses trying to Survive WorkComp, and to clean up the legal messes CREATED BY YOUR MEMBERS, and have lost professional credentials and earning capacity, and I haven’t worked since 1/9/12. Just because I can type doesn’t mean my brain injury healed on the rest and wait and wait and wait and wait CNA plan.
If CAAA members learned a bit about negotiations, they might find it reasonable to find alternatives to scavenger, bottom feeder type holds with liens when prior counsel has done nothing but harm the injured worker by doing a poor job, or no job at all.
One attorney’s I retained, when I advised his office they were being retained because the defense has a nasty pattern and practice of omitting hundreds of pages of medical records with intent (and success) to deny medical care, I was assured I would not be sent to any evaluations until the matter was resolved. Was that ever a whopper, committed by non-supervised “case manager’ practicing law without a license, another pattern similar to the QME/AME doctor reports written not by the doctors, but by the non-medical staff.
Then, in writing, he battered me and accused me of desperately needing mental health care, and arrogantly stated that “There is no conspiracy to omit medical records in your case.” He sent me to a very dubious AME eval, without medical records, and I am still paying for his incompetence. By the way, it took nearly 8 hours in Court to get the Judge to order the Defense to send the omitted records to the two involved doctors (of the time) and to request a supplemental report. Well, she sent them all right, not separately, not identified, but just in a new disorganized box and suggested the doctor find them and see if they made any difference in the conclusions. Then she did it again with the next QME, in December 2013. That’s 2 attorneys and highlights of their arrogance and incompetence.
The first one hardly counts, as it was not an attorney at all, it was a 60 second meet and greet with the attorney, then turned over to the Office Manager, who chanted, “There is no psych component to a WorkComp case” and promptly (next day) had me scheduled with an Orthopedic Surgeon on El Paseo in Palm Desert — FOR A BRAIN INJURY. I got lost trying to find the front door, and entered through the employee entrance in the back — nobody but me found that odd. The last one, rather than read the files I sent, and deal with the mess created by #3, merely agreed to yet another Orthopedic evaluation in late 2013.
Primary treating doctor has been an Orthopedic Surgeon (from 2/2013 through 12/2014 — I have had NO PTP since 12/2014—hardly matters, as there has been little-to-no care, just excessive evaluation upon evaluation, in true WorkComp Gravy Train fashion.
That’s 4 attorneys — #1 for 30 days in 2012, #2 for 9 months in 2012, #3 for 90 days in 2013 and #4 for 45 days in 2013/2014. When I have asked them to release their liens so that I can find an attorney to help me, they just say no.
The office of #3, in an attempt to console me, said, “Oh, it makes no difference to you that he won’t release the lien You get the same in any event. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 5 or 10 attorneys, they divide up the 15%.” I said, but you don’t understand, each of the 4 did more harm to me than the other, and I have a brain injury, and I can’t figure this crap out, there’s no integrity, fraud is NOT prosecuted, and the defense just makes stuff up and the WCAB supports it, and I can’t find competent counsel to represent me.
I’ve been told everything from “there’s no money in it” “previous attorneys didn’t do their job” “the medical records were not properly developed” “there’s too much fraud—it’s over my head” “you’ve already had 1 attorney” “you’ve already had 2 attorneys” “you’ve already had 3 attorneys” “you’ve already have 4 attorneys” “nobody will be #5”
I asked one Judge to authorize me to pay someone hourly to help me. I can’t even find legal aid or a paralegal to help me. It seems that the WorkComp rackets have everything locked down. There are even federally funded brain injury advocacy groups THAT REFUSE TO HELP AN AMERICAN WITH BRAIN INJURY IF THE INJURY HAPPENED AT WORK!
I have a brain injury plus it’s work comp. The Information and Assistance office has clearly given me erroneous information SINCE FIRST MEETING IN 2012, and badgered me, abused me, violated ADA and civil rights, and made it quite whose side she works for. In Injured Worker circles, the experience of most I & A Officers is the same, so I don’t take it personally. But, know that when you tell injured workers to see the I & A officer, you’re condemning them to more harm, and your credibility is further reduced.
WHAT IS A SOLUTION?
I tell you this because it’s identifying a need, that you can fill, and I can only scream about. Your industry vendors are even afraid to work with/for an Injured Worker, in Pro Per. Your industry doctors, playing hot shot, even return properly served medical records and threaten to sue an injured worker for daring to properly send such documents. Your vendors make it clear that they only take directions from “the adjuster” or “The Defense”.
I even asked at WCAB for a list of possible attorneys in 2013. I found one who answered his own phone. Trouble is, he no longer works for injured workers. He works for The Defense. I got quiet and asked, “Tell me, why did you go to the Dark Side?”” He got quiet and said, “Because that’s where the money is.”
So, for starters, if you are approached by an injured worker with a brain injury, if you know nothing about brain injury, give them immediately a letter of non-engagement, and a referral if you can.
Then, set up some training sessions for your members for negotiations, and start with studies of Psychopaths…ie. DEFENSE AGAINST THE PSYCHOPATH. It will help your members understand the Defense, and may reveal similar traits that may cause them to just head over to the Dark Side.
Watch it again, and tell your friends and neighbors.
Then, in each of your offices, set up an InProPer division, or something similar, with a Paralegal component, and an hourly fee, with a provision to take over the case when attorney liens are withdrawn.
DO SOMETHING TO HELP CLEAN UP THE MESS THAT YOUR INCOMPETENT COLLEAGUES CREATE, AND GET THEIR FANGS OUT OF THE LIENS THAT RESULT TO NOTHING FOR ANYBODY.
OH YEAH, OPEN YOUR FANCY CONFERENCES TO INJURED WORKERS, PARTICULARLY YOUR EXHIBIT HALLS. IF YOU WON’T REPRESENT US, HELP US FIND THE RESOURCES TO REPRESENT OURSELVES.
Do some client follow up…… you may find gross dissatisfaction with your industry by injured workers and doctors. You can blame injured workers all day long for your own shortcomings, but…in the end, you know the truth.
I will never forget the attorney who called me back around 8 o’clock one evening, screaming and swearing that he was working so late, and when I explained my case, to the best of my abilities, he called me “one of those work comp pariahs” and that he knew the defense counsel. He assured me that ‘fraud’ was not a possibility; “incompetence, yes, but she is not capable of fraud”…. (That was his opinion; evidence points in the other direction.)
GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT…… IF YOU CAN’T HELP INJURED WORKERS, EITHER FIND SOME WAYS TO HELP THE IN PRO PER POPULATION, OR BE ASSURED, WE WILL DO ALL WE CAN TO GET YOU OUT OF THE EQUATIONS TOTALLY, and FIND WAYS TO HOLD YOU AND YOURS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE HARM YOU CAUSE TO THE INJURED WORKER POPULATIONS IN CALIFORNIA, AND YOUR COLLEAGUES IN ALL STATES OF THE UNION.
CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Look for the In Pro Per OBJECTION TO A FRIVOLOUS ORDER TO COMPEL ……COMING UP THIS WEEK….