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Workers Comp and/or Disability Claims; How To


Matt Bryant
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It's been awhile since I've posted here,

 

So, I've learned the hard way about how new our understanding of pain is(only 6 years old :o) and I'd been working a lot of jobs, for years, which I should've applied for workers comp stuff for but didn't, anyways, boo hoo for me ; ), however I was wondering if anyone has been around the block with these types of things enough to be able to offer a guide, like a how to, as far as what types of workers comp different companies have and how to go about starting claims during or at the end of jobs.  The whole, "the show must go on" attitude in this industry, which is generally based on legit necessity, requires us to often work through injuries and some of us have much greater pain thresholds than others and those injuries can get lost in the "system"...

 

Anyways, figured maybe some people could pitch in on the pit falls of workers comp claims, how to determine if who ever is hiring you has these policies or if anybody knows of good policies they can get on their own?

 

I'm hearing horror stories from independant contractors in the construction field out here in nor cal who've been charged absurd amounts for MRi's with multiple views and contrast, figures like 30-40k, and who are having to rethink their business models.  Figuring there have to be similar stories in the sound field, but stories with happier endings than this one contractor with 40k in medical bills he just has to slowly pay.  I, personally, know I have a ton of soft tissue tears in both my shoulders and I'm still working on strengthing my back after tearing four disks in my thoracic spine, no mri's for my lumbar though, and no herniated disks in my neck however I had only 20% left to right mobility in my neck which needed contrast for an mri to be helpful.  I have regained the movement in my neck with physical therapy but I'm still a bit away from repairing my shoulders, of course the easy out for doctors these days is to diagnose you and(/or your complaints) with myofascial pain syndrome, which you don't ever really recover from and can only get worse, i.e. more difficult to recover from; since having to quit sound for an undetermined amount of time I've begun a caregiving business to be able to help out some family emergency stuff, so I'm not helping my body out in that way; but there are things like inservant endorsements in homeowners policy's that can probably help me out with workers comp in the future if I get debilitated like I was back on some jobs in 2011, July - August, all freelance stuff, but applying for workers comp isn't something they teach you in school, a little bit like how they don't teach you that the Alamo doesn't have a basement...  

 

 

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Workman's Comp is for OTJ injuries,  Disability (typically Social Security) is for when one cannot work...There are legal firms that specialize, and it would be best to contact one of them to discuss your possible claims.

You tell clients to gire a pro who knows audio to do sound on a shoot ??  in your case, you need a pro...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Workman's Comp is for OTJ injuries,  Disability (typically Social Security) is for when one cannot work...There are legal firms that specialize, and it would be best to contact one of them to discuss your possible claims.

You tell clients to gire a pro who knows audio to do sound on a shoot ??  in your case, you need a pro...

 

 

Social Security Disability is only for those who can not work and can not learn new skills; i.e. they have some mental disability on top of some muscular skeletal problem; thus I do not qualify.  

 

My question is how do people go about proving that they have had on the job injuries.  i.e. what steps do they take managing their health records and what insurance providers do they have.  I now have Kaiser in California who have a great system of preventative care along with walk-ins for OTJ injuries.

 

The Senator is always the biggest mystery to me as how he is allowed to teach at a University... but maybe I'm being too harsh on him; what are the statute of limitations for my case, given your assurance to me that I need a pro...?

 

{The senator is based in California, he should be able to offer his students step by step instructions on how to go about maintaining their bodies with production in the 21st century.  I understand it's been awhile since he was active in 695? is this true? I also understand that 695 is pretty broken given they only have a voter turnout of about 30%, nothing short of a non-mandate that the producers, rightly disrespect)

 

I believe, above all else, if you are skilled at mixing; being able to navigate the US Health Care system, is very important and since health care is generally different from State to State and even area to area.

 

If I worked on a 695 job and felt like I was hurt after those jobs, like back 2009, can I still sue and who do I sue?  

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While SM often deserves criticism for needlessly unhelpful comments, I would not consider this to be one of those situations. You've asked specific legal questions and, as he said, the best person to answer those would be a lawyer who specializes in that field.

I suspect, though, that Graham's comments are right on, however a qualified attorney could examine all the nuances of your situation the most fully.

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I would assume documentation would be necessary as well. On jobs with call sheets and production reports, accident reports should be easy to fill out. If this happened on a one-off one-man-band realty/interview job I'm sure it's more difficult and you may have needed to have gone to a doctor right then and somehow have a paper trail that ties that to the production. I've never been in that situation, but I completely understand your anger and frustration. And even if the Senator's remarks are annoying to you, he's right in that it's a long shot to find the right advice here for two reasons: 1) People who may have been injured on a job will probably be reluctant to post on a public forum that they have been injured as it may imply that they aren't in good shape to take a physical job (like working 12+ hours while perhaps pushing heavy gear or holding a heavy pole over their heads). Maybe you'll get some good advice through PMs, though. 2) A lawyer or an OSHA representative would serve you much better. We're just sound guys like you and would find ourselves in the same situation of having a lot of questions if we were in the same predicament. It may be too late to do anything at this point if you don't have enough documentation. But call a lawyer or OSHA (and your doctor may have some advice on who else to call) and get some better advice than what you'd get from a bunch of people who argue over microphones. Also, Social Security Disability may be an outlet to explore. I have a friend who suffered from a degenerative eye disease and collected disability. He can work. He can't drive and is legally blind and I think that still qualifies him. (Though I'm not positive about the details and maybe he was only able to collect while unemployed).

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I was on pay roll for a 695 job.  The issue becomes how does one distinguish between your normal soreness and something more severe, especially when some people have higher pain thresholds than others.  I do, however, see the incentive for people to not give publicly helpful information on this forum on this subject though.  The more guys getting injured and not being able to afford the medical care opens up employment opportunities for others... 

 

I have, though, had one hilariously terrible experiences with one the senator's students when I was working of craigslist in 2009 when trying to work closer to family, and this ridiculous student was referring to him as their "sound mentor", in a very menacing way when I quit his set to go work for a 695 production.  Since then I can't/haven't take/n the Senator seriously at all; surprised he's allowed on this forum in the first place; or even at any institution that prides themselves in education.

 

I know some institutions get into binds and then get stuck with what they get though...

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 "...There are legal firms that specialize, and it would be best to contact one of them to discuss your possible claims.

You tell clients to gire a pro who knows audio to do sound on a shoot ??  in your case, you need a pro...

 

Fury feels it incumbent on Fury's person, to, of course, endorse The Hon. Senator's advice, to retain a legal professional.  One source might be http://www.darraslaw.com/.  Not so , as regards sound professionals, however, depending on the gig. 

 

Seems, at once, curious and odd that the OP has reported solely thoracic disc "tears," while no lumbar MRI has ben obtained.  To be sure, Web MD, this forum, etc., are NOT, as well,  the source for reliable diagnostic and therapeutic direction, despite the possible treasure trove of data. 

 

Doesn't 695, endorse/require Comp. posters, including hospital and physician's contact info, to comply with Ca. state requirements?

Don't dismiss the ubiquitous B&B, who regularly air advertisements, if it comes to that (must note a tad too much sibilance, on Fury's old LCD panel).  As Joshua relates, future unemployability, MAY lead to a SS case, whilst a Ca State disability case MAY be a different matter.

 

Al termine, it is of critical import to obtain, as the Hon. Senator, unequivocally proclaims, professional representation,from respected sources-BOTH - Medical and LEGAL.  The one may preclude the other...

 

Thank you very  much

 

Fury

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