Accident Disabled Worker Seeks Financial Help To Cover Medical Caused Expenses
by Thomas Warren Henderson
(Fowler, Colorado, USA)
Birthday after hospital release
In 2003, I was working on the wing of a famous person's personal aircraft in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
He had just wrecked it and I was inspecting damage for repair work. The company I worked for was big on upfront showcasing the business, but in the labor area they had shortcomings
Anyway I was on a ladder inspecting the wing when the ladder (not in good condition) broke and I fell! I hit concrete floor on my back and left arm.
Being the macho guy I brushed it off but didn't realize that I was dazed for a while. Another coworker witnessed accident. He told the supervisor and I was sent to a doctor (industrial accident) that did no preliminary work, like X-rays.
He said just to put a heat pack on and I'd be OK. The pain got worse as time went by, so I finally got X-rayed.
I discovered that I had fractured my lower back, which in turn caused more problems. Workers' Compensation was denying the need for any help.
After many complaints for pain, I was sent to another doctor. This doctor was more interested in impressing people with his exploits than helping me, as I was a "Workers' Compensation" patient.
He asked me why I was limping so much. My back at this time was hurting so much it was getting hard to walk.
I asked to see another doctor and was sent to one in Albuquerque. This was a good doctor, but he was only allowed to do the minimum covered by Workers' Compensation insurance. I had a laminectomy surgery done and was sent home.
Upon hearing I was in hospital I was told my services were no longer needed at my place of employment. In other terms you're fired.
So here I was with no job, fresh out of hospital, not able to work and with no money. I had to use my two weeks severance pay and my 401K to help live.
The finance company where I had loan for a pickup became very nasty. They were calling my 82-year-old mother at home demanding to know where I was and she didn't even know at that time.
One of their representatives called her a lying old bitch and hung up. Then he called her neighbors to get them to call if I show up at my mother's house. As soon as I could, I turned over the vehicle to them but they still harassed me.
Meanwhile Workers' Compensation has not paid me a dime. My back hurts like hell and I can hardly walk. The last of my money is down to $25.
Then Workers' Compensation finally decided to pay me some back pay but they are still denying their responsibility.
I have hired an attorney in Santa Fe but he was too weak and their lawyers walked all over him. He quits and the Workers' Compensation people have me doing all kinds of legal paper work. I find a new attorney and he tells me that all that paper work was not necessary!
I am now living with my 82-year-old mother. She is on Social Security and doesn't have money to provide for me! All the worry she has about me makes her very ill and she goes to hospital and dies shortly after.
I am fighting Workers' Compensation and social Security now and have two attorneys. My back gets very bad at times. I can hardly walk and when I do I use a cane.
I find a neurosurgeon at home that wants to help but cannot because Workers' Compensation won't let him because "this is a New Mexico case."
They have to have me go back to original surgeon in Albuquerque, driving back and forth for "appointments" that could have been handled locally, and then back for the surgery again.
I spent five days in hospital and was discharged and had to drive home 350 miles. Thankfully my older brother was available to do the driving but still, it was 350 miles on a fresh surgery.
The pain lets up for a while then slowly starts to creep back in. At this point I just want to scream. I have been treated for depression all this while. I develop heart problems, as well as respiratory difficulty.
Workers' Compensation decides that I need to go back to Santa Fe for an MMI inspection. They have been told time and time again I have difficulty driving long distance. But no I have to go!
I drive to Santa Fe, which really knocks me down. I see the doctor for 15 minutes. Thankfully, the insurance people paid for motel room overnight.
The next morning I get up and start home. No problems until I get within 20 miles and I have an accident. In this accident I suffer a fracture of the C-1 vertebra.
In 99.9% of cases, this is fatal. I do die on table in ER but the good doctor there brings me back. Thank you guys. While in hospital I again have heart troubles.
I do have to admit that Workers' Compensation has been paying me but at times they "forgot" or it was a holiday and I didn't get paid.
Finally I am discharged from hospital. I am doing okay except for constant pain in my back and neck, along with spasms. But I am happy to be alive.
But now I do not have a vehicle to replace the one destroyed one and the car insurance won't cover it. My attorney advises me that Workers' Compensation will have to pick up expenses.
Oh no they won't they say, and they immediately cut off my money. I had just purchased another vehicle with some money saved and financing.
So now I am about to lose a new vehicle and my home that I got with life insurance from my mother.
I also inherited a younger brother that is physically and some mentally disabled. My SS disability barely covers the utility bills, let alone car and house.
I have been working with the mortgage company to lower payments (GMAC) but for nine months they have lost papers or changed rules three times.
I am trying to get the finance company to help out but I don't see any daylight there.
There is a court date for Workers' Compensation in Albuquerque in May but by that time I will have lost it all and will be homeless soon.
I'm just asking for some help to get by until court is settled. Thank you for your time and interest!
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