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The Problem with Company Doctors, Part I

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Lou Waple recently won a case before the Industrial Commission that illustrates two different issues in workers’ compensation. First, the danger of company doctors. Second, the even greater danger of some attorneys….

The trouble all started when First Comp Insurance sent our client to one of their “approved” neurosurgeons. He correctly diagnosed her as having a bulging disk in her neck and eventually fused two of her vertebrae together. Then within only two months of this. he released her from his care with no restrictions at all. It didn’t matter that she was still complaining of pain, he sent her back to her old job.

It got worse when the First Comp’s attorney immediately filed a Form 24 saying that she was no longer disabled — because the company doctor had said “no restrictions.”

It all hit rock bottom when her attorney told her that there was no use fighting the Form 24 because the insurance company was right….

There is a happy ending to all this, though. She fired her first attorney who had wanted to settle her claim quick, she hired us, and Lou beat the Form 24. Then he followed that up with a win in a full hearing. As a result of that, our client is still getting her checks more than year later. Plus, she won the right to pick her own doctor for pain management.

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