There are too many specific legal questions here requiring a KY response. There could be many reasons to do various things.
Call a local workers' compensation attorney - most will give you at least some basic answers. Realistically though, you need to hire an attorney. The little money you will pay out of benefits you get will be worth knowing the claim is being handled correctly, and knowing that your rights are being protected.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
To answer your question, yes, you should retain a workers comp lawyer in your city. You can search Avvo's "find a lawyer" for one.
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I agree with the previous answer. An attorney can tell an employee with a work-related injury if the employee have a legitimate workers' compensation claim. Generally, workers' compensation plaintiff cases are taken on a on a contingent fee basis meaning that the attorney only requires payment in the form of a portion of an award whenever the case results in an award. There are time limits involved with filing Kentucky workers' compensation claims though, so it is important for those with work-related injuries to move fast to make sure claims are not waived by not filing in time.
No attorney-client relationship has been formed based on this message. This advice is not guaranteed. An attorney should be consulted for more complete and accurate advice.
It is none of your "case manager's" business to sit in on a doctor visit. You're going for treatment and healing and the "case manager's" only goal is to get your case closed as quickly and cheaply for the insurer as possible.
It's true that each state has its own particular regulations which need to be observed in workers comp so your best bet is to locate a worker's compensation attorney ASAP through the state Justice Association, the AVVO 'Find A Lawyer' tab above, or a county bar association.
I practice Worker's Compensation in Northern Kentucky (in Florence). To answer your questions in order:
1. The carrier doesn't ask a nurse case manager (NCM) to be present in every case, but it certainly isn't unusual. I can see why they wanted one in your case, since alternate forms of treatment are being recommended.
2. I'm not sure what claim you'd have for lost wages from your second job. It wouldn't be through the worker's compensation system, but you might have a disability policy that would come into play.
3. If you deny the NCM sitting in on the doctor's appointment, you're looking at getting benefits cut off. You have the right to deny it, but it makes the road ahead a little tougher. If the NCM hasn't been a pain in the butt so far, I'd let her sit in. If she's the kind that answers questions for you and triest to get the doctor to release you, then it might be worth refusing to allow her in.
4. I don't know if I'm allowed to recommend myself, but that's who I'd recommend if I were.
My bet is you'll need a lawyer anyway when it comes time to determine your impairment. That's usually the case when you take an alternate course of treatment. If you have any other questions, give me a call at 525-1160.
I've had the issue come up where physical restrictions prevent a worker from doing one of two jobs. That should be part of your workers' comp claim.
Also regarding the case manager, you could ask your doctor to keep her in the waiting area and not talk to her after your appointment.
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