I injured my shoulder at work, and after going to the emergency room, and workman's comp, they sent me to a specialist. I was told besides arthritis, I have an impingement in my shoulder. The specialist said that the only way to really see whats going on in my shoulder is to get surgery to find, and fix the problem. He also said that he wouldn't recommend it unless I'm absolutely sure I want to have it done. I have been dealing with the pain since then. I kept getting the bill for the emergency visit and kept turning it into my work place for them to take care of. After about a year of this I received a letter saying I was being sued by the hospital. I have an anxiety disorder, and chronic insomnia which caused me a lot of problems. What can I do about this?
Have you filed a workers comp claim? If not you should.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
You should bring this issue in front of the Worker Comp Judge who is handling your case.
The above answer is only for information. This answer and any response does not create an attorney-client relationship between the parties and the communication is not privileged and confidential. The best course of action is to consult with a lawyer about your specific case. If you need to contact me, please call at 212-537-6936 or email at [email protected]
Your best bet is to hire a local lawyer who is experienced in handling workers' compensation claims for two reasons: First, he will have expertise that you don't and secondly, work comp exacerbates anxiety issues for lawyers and will cause you untold grief! Trying to handle this matter on your own is tricky under the best of circumstances and it doesn't sound like you have good circumstances in your preexisting conditions.
While we hope this information is helpful and informative, it should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. Please contact us for a free consultation on your injury claim - there is never a fee unless we collect money for you.
Your question calls into question several important legal issues that require you to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible:
First, you are subject to having a judgment entered against you by the medical provider for a bill that appears to be clearly the responsibility of the workers compensation insurer for your employer. Your attorney should be able to stop the suit and bring it before the NJ Division of Workers Compensation so that a workers comp judge can determine the proper responsibility for the bill. If you have personal health insurance, you should submit the bill to them as well and, if they decline payment, your attorney may also be able to compel them to make payment if the facts bear out their responsibility. My experience has shown that insurance companies will generally attempt to avoid their responsibilities if you let them and leave you with no recourse.
Second, you may have a significant workers compensation claim in your own right, for various other benefits including (a) Temporary Disability Benefits amounting to up to 70% of your wage loss while disabled from work; (b) Medical Benefits for all the appropriate medical care you need to reach maximum medical improvement, including all necessary surgery, physical therapy, prescription medications, and other treatment needed for you to reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement); and (c) Permanent Disability Benefits, which are often the most significant type of workers comp benefit and are awarded -- not because you can't work any more -- but because the injury itself has left you with a disability or residual problems which will be permanent in nature. This can be awarded even if you return to work at any job.
Third, you may be able to pursue a claim for general damages in a lawsuit which are not available in workers compensation claims. Such claims must be brought in either the NJ Superior Court or in the US Federal District Court within two  years of the date of the incident that caused your injuries. This type of claim is usually made against "Third Parties" responsible for causing your injuries who are not co-workers or otherwise your employer. Such claims cannot ordinarily be brought against your employer or a co-worker unless they were intentional in nature or due to something the employer did or failed to do that was virtually certain to cause injuries such as yours.
Fourth, workers comp claims must be filed within two  years of the date of your injury or 2 years from the date of the last payment of workers compensation benefits made, whichever is later. You should act promptly and not delay, as important rights can be lost.
Philip L. Faccenda, Esq.
Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Representing Victims of Legal Malpractice, and the Seriously Injured or Disabled. Certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification ****************************************************************************************************************** [Note: The foregoing is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice, which would depend upon a detailed review of the facts and circumstances of each individual case. No attorney-client relationship is established by this communication, and no representations are made. We are not taking any action on your matter and will not be considered your attorney. There are strict deadlines within which certain actions must be taken or important rights may be lost unless you act promptly].
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline