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I'm so upset..should I move forward with workmans comp?
I want to start out by saying that I work for a very small company, and by small, I mean there are only 3 of us. My boss, me and one other girl. I've worked there for 17, almost 18 years and have become very close to my boss. To the point that I could say we are like best friends. Most of the time, we know how to separate work and friendship.
Here's where my issue is.. about 2 months ago (I unfortunately don't have the exact date) I was lifting something heavy and tore my rotator cuff. (we always lift heavy items and have been doing it since I started this job) At the time, my boss was working with me, and I made it know that I hurt my arm. We're forever doing something to ourselves, so I really didn't think anything of it. She never said anything, just that I hope it feels better soon. Within that time, I came down with Carpal tunnel, on the same arm. I went to my family Dr for the carpal tunnel and also told him that my arm (rotator cuff) still really hurt. He started treating the CT, and told me to rest my RC, not to do any heavy lifting etc at work. About a month after all that, I went back to my family Dr, and told him my arm still wasn't better. He sent me to physical therapy, and to a different Dr for the CT. Since the CT isn't totally related to work, only aggravated by it, I'm sure my insurance will handle it. However, the physical therapist has been asking me about workman's comp. My boss never said anything about it to me and being that we are so close and she is having some business issues, I never mentioned it. I was told by someone else, that it's possible that my own insurance may not cover it once they find out that it happened at work. Sooo, I chickened out and sent her an email asking my boss about it, instead of talking to her face to face. She said no one has ever pursued it with her and she'll have to look into it and get back to me. I came into work today and there was a formal letter from her stating all the things that we might have to do, including going to workman's comp hearings and hiring lawyers. She said she would also have to cut my hours so I wouldn't work by myself (I only work part time, and can't afford to have my hours cut) I am so upset right now!! I don't want to have to do any of this, or put her through any of this. I can't afford to hire a lawyer. I just want to drop the whole thing. I know my physical therapist is claiming on the insurance that I was hurt at work. What are my options? I want to stop PT asap, and maybe sigh a statement from her that I won't pursue anything more with my rotator cuff (I was told that it was a minor tare, and that I'm making great progress. I've been to 3 sessions) I just feel like I'm falling apart. I have depression and have been off meds for some time now, thankfully, but this might just push me over the edge. I just want to forget about the whole thing. I guess I'm worried about loosing a friendship and job. I know she'd be professional about it all.. I just don't know. Has anyone gone through this? I thought it was just filling out a form and claiming it on her workman's comp insurance. Cut and dry. Now it seams that I've really messed things up. AND to top it all off, I am irritated with her that she was with me at work when this happened and knew I was going to the Dr about it and never once said anything about workman's comp. I'm irritated, sad, depressed etc... any advice would help.
Thanks for reading my long rant
Today at work, I got a formal letter from her
DO NOT DROP IT! If you did this at work, your employer pays into Worker's Comp to cover it. You will still be able to get your full pay. And, if something else should happen to your Rotator Cuff in the future, you will be able to get medical help. Fill out the Worker's Comp forms and continue to pursue it! If she is a 'friend' as well as an 'employer' she will want you to get the medical treatment you need and deserve!
Thank you for your advice! Part of the problem that I didn't mention, is that I started Physical Therapy without claiming workman's comp. That is part of the big issue. Not sure if the insurance company will believe that it's WC because I didn't file a claim as soon as it happened. Not sure if there is much I can do now since I've already started therapy.?
She's up to date on her workman's comp insurance, and I 100% believe that she's not trying to scare me into not doing something, she's just trying to cover her own butt. I don't blame her, I just need to make sure my butt is covered too.
If it happened at work, file for workman's comp. Get the treatment you need. This is about YOU, not "helping" your friend. Lawyers do not get involved with every workman's comp claim. Once your insurance company figures out that the injury happened at work, they will likely reject paying your medical claims, leaving you no option BUT to file for WC.
I'm not an expert, but I think it's "disability" and if you look at your paystub you probably pay a portion of taxes for that every payroll. It's usually lumped together as "unemployment/disability" I think. After a certain period, if you still can't work, it changes to workman's comp. I THINK. Then again, it could be the other way around, but you definitely pay taxes for it.
There is NO WAY you'd have to hire lawyers unless your boss denied and/or tried to dispute your claim. Even then, it would be her choice to hire a lawyer. Your medical insurance company won't want to pay your claims if it happened at work because it should be disability insurance covering it.
I hope you get things resolved, and are on the mend soon.
Fight for worker's comp. Don't give up. I was injured on the job in 93 and got fired 2 weeks later. I am still in pain today. I had to get a lawyer. Stress can make you very sick, it did me. It's the LAW, if you are injured on the job, you get worker's comp. Keep good notes about any conversation ect.
You hurt yourself performing your job duties and have the right to worker's comp. Don't feel guilty and don't stress out. You are doing the right thing! And true... if you did it at work, and the medical world finds out, there is no other choice, really. Get well!