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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I've been off work on workers compensation months. I have a

Customer Question

I've been off work on workers compensation for 2 months. I have a condition that developed over the 12 years at my job, because of my job. It's a repetitive use injury called cubital tunnel syndrome. My doctor said the nerve damage is mild, and that I also have mild carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem is - everytime - 2 weeks after returning to work, my condition flares and the pain and discomfort is intolerable. There's no way to change the movements I'm doing that are causing the reaction. My company will cover up to 25 weeks under workers compensation. If my work-related condition isn't going to resolve, and my job aggravates the condition, where do I go from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

First, it is not up to your company how much to cover in workers compensation. The compensability of your injuries is something that is preliminarily decided by their workers compensation insurance company. Under CA law, workers compensation insurance must cover ALL medical expenses and losses of income caused by a job-related medical condition. Workers compensation does not have the right to "cut you off." So long as there is a link between your damages and your job, the damages must be covered. Anything you have been told to the contrary is simply false.

Of course, there can be a factual dispute as to whether your injuries are as severe as you believe, or whether they are work related. If the workers comp carrier disputes you on these issues, it may be necessary to litigate your workers compensation case. If that happens, you will unquestionably want to hire a workers compensation attorney. You can find one here. Workers comp lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no up front fee, only a small percentage of your eventual settlement as their compensation. This would be your recourse under the circumstances.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm a part time bank teller - the essential functions of my job can't be altered, and there are no other part time employment opportunities within my company. My injury is cumulative, and it's not going to "go away." I'm only able to do part time work because I care for my severely disabled daughter full time, plus. Will the insurance company continue to cover me, through whatever time/dollar limit their contractually obligated, since I'm unable to return to my job? Essentially my specific job is not an option - and since no other part time options exist. If we already know this, at what point can they "let go" of the claim?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If you are permanently disabled, workers compensation will have to pay for your future loss of earnings. This can either be done in a lump sum or on continual payments made over time. Since permanent disability cases are highly complex, this is yet another reason why you need an attorney. You have a right to future loss or earnings and it is not up to the insurance company to "let go" of the claim. They have a legal obligation to pay you to the extent your permanent disability can be establish as work related.

Now, as far as your job is concerned, you can be let go if you cannot perform the essential functions of your position and if there is no way to reasonably accommodate you or transfer you to an open position for which you are qualified. To ensure that your employer is evaluating all options, it would typically be best to send a letter advising your employer of its obligations under the Americans With Disabilities Act to "reasonably accommodate" your medical disability and that reasonable accommodations include transferring you to any open position for which you are qualified. Perhaps there is some other job within your company that you could be switched to. Sending your employer a letter in which you make it clear you know what your legal rights are will ensure that if there is any chance of a job transfer, you get it.

I hope this clarifies things. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It sounds funny, but the majority of my job involves locked compartments and keys. The key turning is what's killing me! 6-12 key turns everytime someone wants cash, 6 if I leave my station (which is often). It adds up. I was counting approx 300 turns a day - the movement drags my nerve across a bone in my elbow which is causing me to have altered sensation in my arm and gradually increasing weakness in my hand. Some days it was so bad, I couldn't hold a pen to write. So, I can do another job - just not one that involves keys.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I am very sorry about that. As noted above, if there is an open position for which you're qualified, your employer has an obligation to "accommodate" your disability by transferring you to it. This obligation should be brought to their attention. I hope this helps.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Are you still with me?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Were you able to view my answer? If I can be of any further assistance to you please let me know...