Need help deciding wheather to file workers comp claim

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Cloud1, May 3, 2011.

  1. Cloud1

    Cloud1 New Member

    Hello everyone. Been a silent troll on this site for a while, and just wanted to get others opinions on the matter I'm having with UPS.

    I've been with the company since 12/2007. Been working as a loader and then started picking off, but went back to loading for the workout. I've always one of the hardest workers at my job. Always came early and was the last to leave, had a can do attitude, and never no-called no-showed. (just want to establish my reputation.)

    Around the end of May 2010 I began experiencing back pain. I had trouble entering and exiting cars and I would just have a lot of discomfort during this time. One night before I went to work the pain increased. I went to work and notified my sups about it and they just watched me work and I worked at a slower pace than normal. The following night I went to the emergency room at the request of my sups and got an x-ray that showed nothing. I continued to have pain and sought the help of a chiropractor. During this time the pain was so severe that if I was sitting I needed to physically push my hips forward to straighten my back when I stood. After a month off, and chiropractor adjustments, I got an MRI which showed a bulging disc of about 3-4cms (Keep in mind this is a month after the day I notified the sups so who knows how much more the disc was protruding). I notified my sups and they notified me that since I didn't injure my back at work I shouldn't file workers comp, but instead go on short term disability. (During the last month of my time loading I was having to work harder and lift up all the irregs on my area and most of the next belt because the co-worker working with me was too weak to do them and too slow to handle the packages when they started coming down at high speed. So, I had to do more work to get the job done because the co-worker couldn't do theirs. sorry for venting. This is the reason that my back started hurting I feel. People have described the injury to me as when people have carpal tunnel. Repetivie motions eventually agravate the body to the point where surgery could be required ) So I filed short-term disability and during the time away from work I went through spinal decompression therapy in hopes of feeling better. This process wasn't covered by insurance and set me back $3,000 out of pocket. My short-term disability terminated on me and then I had to appeal the process, which I won. However, I've been out of work until the present due to pain. I've sought out physical therapy and have been continuing the process on my own to strengthen my body. However, I'll still get some electrical like shocks going through my back, spasming, and pain while driving for long periods. (during last semester I was driving 30-60 (with traffic) mins to school).

    My 1 year from filing the injury report is coming up around May 24th, and I'm wondering what others opinions are on the matter. I've let my safety sup know that I might file workers comp, but it seemed like he was just scaring me from not filing it by saying "since you've been getting payments from short term disability and then switch to workers comp workers comp will be like why are you filing with us? Just because you ran out of money? So they might not give you anything" kinda thing.

    I've been away from work for almost a year and I've only been able to survive finacially because I stay at home, have no kids, and my monthly bills only total about $130. I had to rely on my savings during this time. (my checks from Aetna amounted to around $4,500 which with the spinal decompression and co-pays, and after Aetna denied my claim I had to pay full price on some treatments means I owed more medical bills than they covered.

    Sorry for the novel, but i just wanted to get others opinions on the matter. Looking back I think I should have filed workers comp, but I was talked out of it by my sups.

    Thanks for any help yawl.
  2. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Hindsight is 20/20 but, yes, you should have filed comp.

    I honestly don't know what your next move should be.
  3. The Milkman

    The Milkman Well-Known Member

    Sounds like your injury was related to your job. Hope you learn a lesson from this that you should always file an injury report before you do anything. That way it is on record just in case a sprain/strain becomes worse and you need treatment. The sups will always try to avoid workmans comp as it will mess up the safe work days in their ctr. I learned from my own experience when my shoulder was hurting me, I reported it then a few months later my rotator cuff had to be repaired and I was out of work about 9 months..So always report injuries however small they may seem at the time because as you have found out that had you done that 1st you would be in a better position today:peaceful:
  4. Cloud1

    Cloud1 New Member

    Thanks for the info yawl. I did notify the sups about the injury and I did file a workers comp claim paperwork, but they later told me that I should cancel that claim and go ahead with the short term disability.

    I do remember sending the comp claim to somewhere, but I never heard anything back

    Do you think it would be possible for me now to try to go through with the workers comp claim?
  5. The Milkman

    The Milkman Well-Known Member

    I would of asked to go to see a doctor, and let the doctor in due time put you out on disability, you would of gotten workmans comp payments and medical would of been covered. Sups are no doctors, too late now I believe.:dissapointed:
  6. ymelord

    ymelord Active Member

    you have about 20 days to get legal advice. i'm not encouraging you to sue, but you can get advice from somebody on your side. education is good, never give up
  7. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    I would consult an attorney, The local union you belong to probably has one on retainer that you could call and get a free consultation from. However I would venture to guess you are not going to get anything from workmans comp at this point. The reason you are curently on disability is because you told the company that your back hurt when you got to work. That in their minds means you did it somewhere other than UPS and they will fight you to the death to deny it as a work comp claim. If you had challened it imediately and tried to get it switched to work comp then, you may have had a chance. The fact that you have not worked for a year will be proof enough that you did not reinjure it on the job, and the fact that you did not fight the claim that it was not on the job by the company in the beginning will be proof enough that it was never a work related injury in the eyes of the system.

    Let this be a lesson to all you out there. REPORT ALL INJURIES NO MATTER HOW SEVERE, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY!!! yOU MAY NEED THAT REFERENCE IN THE FUTURE, YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!!! Unfortunately I have seen this multiple times in my building and the employee never wins!!
  8. tardus

    tardus New Member

    The Workman's Compensation rules are determined by the laws in each state. I was horrified to discover that in Virginia "any condition of the neck, back or spinal column" are excluded from Workman's compensation. In Va. "occupational disease" is defined to be "neither a disease to which an employee may have had substantial exposure outside of the employment, nor any condition of the neck, back or spinal column." (see #4 below)

    § 65.2-400. "Occupational disease" defined.

    A. As used in this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term "occupational disease" means a disease arising out of and in the course of employment, but not an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment.

    B. A disease shall be deemed to arise out of the employment only if there is apparent to the rational mind, upon consideration of all the circumstances:

    1. A direct causal connection between the conditions under which work is performed and the occupational disease;

    2. It can be seen to have followed as a natural incident of the work as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment;

    3. It can be fairly traced to the employment as the proximate cause;

    4. It is neither a disease to which an employee may have had substantial exposure outside of the employment, nor any condition of the neck, back or spinal column;

    5. It is incidental to the character of the business and not independent of the relation of employer and employee; and

    6. It had its origin in a risk connected with the employment and flowed from that source as a natural consequence, though it need not have been foreseen or expected before its contraction.

    C. Hearing loss and the condition of carpal tunnel syndrome are not occupational diseases but are ordinary diseases of life as defined in § 65.2-401.
  9. CustomerConcern

    CustomerConcern New Member

    Would definately file but get ready for one hellstorm of a ride. The company will drag this out to every possible limit. Also, better watch your butt, they will post a PI outside your house who will follow your every move and document it video/picture/log book, to include talking with your neighbors, friends, co-workers, anyone who might slip and say you aren't in pain or that the other day you did somehting that you claim you can't do. Get a lawyer, the company has a dream team of them. You will have to see a couple of doctors, don't be afraid to see a few of your own to get as many collaborating reports on your condition. Hang in there, good luck, hope it works out.
  10. whiskey

    whiskey New Member

    If you can, stay with the physical therapy. It may take awhile, but, with a disc protrusion, it really does work. But you have to work really hard with the exercises.
    And get going with the legal end of your case. Because you do have a case.
  11. Cloud1

    Cloud1 New Member

    Thank you guys very much for the information. I'm going through the process of filing workers comp. I contacted a lawyer to get advice and they say the same thing.

    The sad part is I've read some things on this website before I was hurt about notifying the higher ups whenever you get injured. You guys were right.

    Thanks again for the info.