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If my workers compensation doctors ignored my back and knee issues, put me at MMI but another dr has to perform surgery

Charlotte, NC |

What does that mean? In short, I fell at work, got an initial opinion from one doctor, and a second opinion from another doctor within the same firm/practice. Both said they don't know when the pain will subside and to take Aleve daily. I go to a doctor that I sought out myself who stated that I needed surgery due to severe patella femoral damage after reviewing my MRI (which the first two didn't see the need for). He performs surgery and states that while he can't promise amazing recovery, he felt it needed to be done in order to recover from my injury. How do I pursue Workers Comp for one of two conditions that they dismissed? Is it possible? How do I do this? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 3


It sounds to me like the carrier may have denied a portion of your claim or has refused to provide treatment for injuries you may have sustained as a result of a work place injury. At this time, since surgery has already been performed, your are likely going to need to go to a hearing before a Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission to try and obtain an Opinion and Award that finds that the surgery you had was related to the original injury and that you are entitled to medical compensation and compensation (payment for time missed from work and payment for permanent disability to the injured body parts). The first step in this process is to file a Form 33 with the Industrial Commission.

I would STRONGLY advise that you consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney before taking any additional steps in your case. A hearing before a Deputy Commissioner is essentially a trial. You have certain burdens of proof to meet and evidence to put on to make your case. An experienced Comp lawyer will be able to try your case much more effectively than you will on your own...Put it this way, if your car breaks down, do you take it to the computer guys at Radio Shack or do you take it to an auto mechanic? Get help from the person who knows how to best fix your problem. I've attached a link to the Board Certified Specialists in Workers' Compensation Law. I would advise that you call one of these folks...the consultation will be free and well worth your time.


I agree with Mr Shapiro that this will probably need to be decided by a Deputy Commissioner. You situation is also complicated by the fact that you apparently did not seek authorization for the physician that performed your surgery prior to surgery. This is not necesssarily a bar to having the carrier pay for your care, but it can may the process more difficult. I too strongly suggest you consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney.


You have a complicated situation. You are unlikely to be able to resolve it without the help of a qualified lawyer. I suggest you talk to a NC Board Certified workers' comp lawyer and get some specific advice. There are several very good workers' comp specialists lawyers in Charlotte.

Here is the list of NC certified specialists:

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