On 22 January 2007 I was injured while at work as a night maintenance man for Cracker Barrel at approximately 3:30a.m. when a box of platters fell striking me in the left lower quad of my stomach and groin area. I was in extreme pain but managed to complete at least most of my duties that night. Reporting the injury as soon as a manager came in at 6:00a.m. that morning.
A report was taken and then was told to go to the clinic that was near the store. I was checked out by a doctor there who felt that it was only a "soft tissue" injury giving me some prescriptions that I filled told me to take them and return in 3 days giving me a chit for that time off. I did as I was told only to have no change in the pain.
She requested a referral to see another doctor to confirm that there was no hernia. The referral was authorized by a Mr. Richard Hawkins who would be my agent, an appointment set and I went. He checked me physically stating he didn't see any sign of a hernia but that there was tenderness to the area. Gave me prescriptions that were filled by comp. along with another week off from work.
A week later I returned with no change in my status. He stated that I would probably be "sore" for a while but to work with it. I went back to work where I was told that I was still scheduled as to be off for 2 more days to go home relax then come in at that time. I did as I was told, coming in two nights later.
There was additional work that I had to do that night when I returned which only increased the pain that I was having. Lifting several boxes, climbing a ladder several times changing lights, and some additional cooking that needed to be done. By the next morning I was in server pain to the point that I could hardly walk to my car.
When I got in to drive home I was in tears almost having an accident on the way. I made it home taking my pills tried to sleep. Sometime in the course of that day or evening something happened which I'm still not sure what as the next three days are more or less blank in some ways. I woke finding myself on the floor of what I thought was still the same day, only to find out later that it was the following day.
My mind was confused, I was disorientated, and couldn't hold anything in my left hand. My hand, arm, and leg on my left side was hurting with radiating pain in the lower left side of my stomach as well. I went to the emergency room of the hospital where they thought I was either having a stroke or a TIA admitting me on the spot.
In the hospital they began running all kinds of tests on me for Stroke and TIA but found nothing wrong in my brain. It was two days later that I tried to explain about the injury but they didn't seem concerned about it. I was released told to go home with 2 weeks or "home care" to relax and use caution since they had pumped me with a good amount of blood thinners.
I went by work giving them the information then went home still in pain from the original injury. I did nothing but rest for that next two weeks, returning to work I was told that I had to go see a doctor before I could come to work. The general manager asked how I was explained that I was still hurting where the box hit me but that otherwise I was ok. He told me to contact the Insurance company to get in touch with a doctor to be checked out before I could come back.
I called the GB and found out my agent was Mr. Richard Hawkins who said I could go back to the doctor who had seen me before. I told him I would prefer seeing someone else as for one that doctor was too far away and driving caused only more pain and second he didn't seem to do much for me. I was given the Option to pick another doctor which there was one only two miles from where I live. I went there to see him.
This doctor asked if an ultrasound had been done? I replied no, which he said that he wanted to have one done. He put in a referral for one to be done which took a week to be approved then another week to be scheduled. I went then had to wait yet another week for the results to come back to the doctor. Once returned the doctor said that he wanted me to see another doctor that there was no hernia however there could be nerve damage. He put in a referral for that doctor that was approved and scheduled.
I went to see him only to have him look at me stating that there was a good amount of pain to the site area however he wanted to have me take a couple prescriptions and see if they helped. Once again I took meds for another 10 days having a work chit off only to return to the doctor with no improvement. During that time off I contacted a few others I knew where I was given a site location of a medical article that would be of interest about nerves in that area. Having had a hernia repair some 8 years prior they stated that it would be of interest to the doctor as well.
I printed it taking it back with me since there was no improvement. I asked him about the article which he told me he needed time to review and would get back in touch with me.
During this time I was still under his care and not able to return back to work. About a week or so later he contacted me stating that he wanted me to be seen by the Tennessee Pain Center for their opinion prior to scheduling any surgery. That he felt that the article I showed him was very possibly the cause of the pain but wanted them to check me first. I told him that a referral had to be placed with GB to have it done. He said that my referring doctor would do that and that they would be in touch with me.
As of date, 10 July 2007 and the time of this report the following has and has not been accomplished:
1) I am still sitting here with pain to the site area of the accident and has got worse.
2) I am not able to drive more then about 10 miles before I am having shooting pains going through my side, groin, and stomach. I can't walk around a store and go shopping without assistance as I begin to have pains shooting though my side, stomach, and groin.
3) I received one comp check that covered from 1/22/07 to 2/12/07 and nothing since then.
4) None of the doctors, tests, or anything have as of yet been paid. I am now getting bills sent to me with some going to collection agencies and demand of payment or else.
5) I have not got a referral as of yet to the Tennessee Pain Center as requested by the doctor.
6) The agent I had Mr. Richard Hawkins was terminated from GB with a new agent now taking his place Ms. LuElla Rogers who upon talking with her told me that she has nothing on me at all. That no approvals for referrals had ever went through their office, and as far as she was concerned the case was closed. That if there was still something going on that before anything could be approved that I had to go to all the doctors and testing agencies, get all the reports, notes, chits that I gave my work location, and referrals that they are "suppose" to have and mail them to her. That she would then review them and make her decision as to rather or not to approve anything or any kind of compensation. That in her eyes as it stands I have nothing and that I am suppose to be working. I had contacted our Corporate Office for Cracker Barrel that states I am on extended leave due to a work related injury. I was further told that GB has that same information along with copies of the chits.
I retained a lawyer back on 15 May to try and help with this case. They work on a percentage basis, but he told me that there wouldn't be much that could be got other then what I would be due in compensation and the referral authorized. I was told that there was nothing for pain, suffering, or stress that could be got on a workman's comp case. That it wasn't like other types of injuries and only if there was a disability could there possibly be something.
I don't understand it at all! Right now as it stands:
1) I am about to have my car repoed due to non-payment. I am 4 months behind which they are not understanding at all.
2) I have been begging family and friends to help keep my electric on and something to eat.
3) I am not able to do any of the physical activities I normally do such as riding my bike, swimming, driving, taking walks, or tennis.
4) I am not able to enjoy a full physical relationship with my girlfriend causing problems between us. No matter how we have tried there is always pain which causes us to have to stop.
5) I am being hounded by collection agencies, my credit is going down the drain, and my life is falling apart.
I don't understand why a workman's comp claim can't be held responsible for their actions as any other insurance claim would be. To me Gallagher Bassett and its agents are Liars, Sadists, with nothing more of interest to them but to watch people fail. They have no concern of health, family, quality of life, or people's lives other then their own! If there was ever a more WORTHLESS company in the world it is Gallagher Bassett! I would not recommend them to anyone, would never work for another company who used them as a carrier, and would tell anyone who was to be worried, be very worried!
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