Workers Compensation & the injured workers rights

I injured my back at work 7-6-07 & have been on w/c since 7-7-07. I had to hire an atty when the insurance co told me they were dropping me & my employer was terminating me. Their reasons were I was not following their guidelines. Actually they were saying my doctors were not getting them the "do not return to work forms" which were sent by the doctors over & over with fax transmittal sheets confirming these were received by them everytime. I even faxed these to them at my expense with confirmation & they said these cannot come from me. That is just one thing of many in this case. They do agree that I was injured at work & finally got the discogram approved & performed which confirmed 2 torn discs. January 2, 2008 was my last appointment w/the surgeon who requested approval for fusion @L5-S1 & artificial disc @ L4-L5. They again kept saying they never received anything with many fax confimations stating it was received. Then they said they needed to talk to the surgeon who was in surgery & who actually had his PA call them back the next morning. They said it was too late & the request was denied as the doctors didn't comply. Opposing counsel says this surgery is outdated & not done any more. Which is not even close to the truth. My attorney finally got a date to go before the judge again after I had another exam by a workers compensation surgeon who has never done the disc replacement & never will. He didn't like that I had questions & he was rude & offensive. When we finally got in front of the judge he ordered another (third) opinion. This exam was Monday 12-29-08 which he recommends also the fusion & artificial disc. However, before I can have any surgery I have to go through drug rehab to get me off the morphine. At the time the surgeon submitted for approval I wasn't even on Morphine. The spacing between the discs has decreased tremendously & the pain has only continued to worsen resulting in having to be on Morphine as well as additional Morphine being perscribed for the breakthrough pain. I am told that they have not done anything wrong & there is nothing I can do through this entire process. I am waiting a call back from my pain management doctor to see if he can get me off the Morphine in this time we are waiting for them to get back with us. I'm sure they will have to approve this too so I really have no way of taking care of my health. I will, as I always have, do whatever I am instructed to do. However, I am really not happy about having to pay the price for their negligence. I really don't want to have to go into rehab. I never wanted to get on Morphine but I had to have relief from the pain. My pain doctor submitted requests for other forms of treatment so I would get some relief & so I wouldn't have to go through this. His requests still have not been answered. Can you help me?!! What are my rights? Do I even have any? I've been told if I do anything outside of W/C I will be dropped & surely terminated. Also I keep receiveing termination letters from my employer which I am told to only worry about if my checks stop. My insurance was terminated because I was told that they (my employer) would take care of this. The HR MGR was the one who told me everything wrong! I am being billed $1000 for past due premiums too. Is there somewhere I can go to find information on what my rights are? I have not yet found a website that is clear on this. I have offended my atty by not understanding this. I donot want to offend my atty again & be dropped at this time. I want information. Please help.

Sapulpa, OK -

Attorney Answers (1)

Jon L Gelman

Jon L Gelman

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Wayne, NJ
Answered

Oklahoma is a unique jurisdiction. You must consult an attorney in that State. An excellent resource is the Workplace Injury Law and Advocacy Group's site. They have a national membership directory of attorneys who concentrate in helping injured workers.

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