Serious Work Comp Injury & They've Done Everything Possible to Obstruct Benefits
I was injured severely at work in the Spring of 2009. The effects of the injuries suffered are largely debilitating. Shortly afterward, I began to be shuffled between claims people, weekly wage payments were delayed, child support was withheld from checks but not forwarded to state collection agency, delays and refusals to approve disgnostic tests, assigned a QRC (independent - right!) who pressured doctor to refer me to a Occ. Med doctor - who shocked everyone who was treating me by telling me "there's nothing wrong with you, get off your butt, take antidepressants, and go back to work!" They demanded I see only one doctor to manage my care - but who, I'd already seen 5 at that point. So I had to go outside them all and get a 2nd opinion or go back to work. I found the doctors in my "network" that would take a contrary position to the diagnosis of the Occ. Med doctor. But I did, and not only got a 2nd opinion that prevented me from having to go back to work, but obtained an order for an MRI - a tool he was surprised hadn't been used to detect the root of my problem. And after delaying authorization for almost 4 weeks, I had that MRI, and it documented spinal and nerve damage due to trauma. 4 months into my injury, I went from being regarded as a malingerer to having a bonafide injury/impairment. Do you think things would change with Liberty Mutual? Sure, they bumped me to yet another claims rep, and the whole cycle of delay, deny, harass, withhold payments and treatments started all over again. I got an attorney. That didn't seem to matter, if anything, they just ramped up the resistance more. I got a new QRC, one recomened by my attorney. They began to harass her, telling her that my employer had "light duty" work for me, and that she was required to make me aware that I HAD to accept light duty if I were able to perform those tasks. Once again, the fact I can't walk, sit or stand for more than 15-20 minutes at a time, that I take powerful narcotic meds for pain, and a slew of other muscle relaxers, anit-spasmotics, anti-emetic (nausea),wear an electronic device to mitigate pain, and can't even drive - not to mention physical therapy every other day, just how could I work doing anything. Several weeks ago, I began to receive a lot of mail from various clinics, doctors, speicalists, and medical imaging firms - including the urgent care clinic I went to immediately after suffering injury at work. The letters were affidavits they had filed with the Dept of Labor & Industry, Work Comp Div declaring that Liberty Mutual HAD not paid them, and that they were registering their claims for services rendered AFTER Liberty Mutual had "approved them. All except the urgent care clinic - who's paperwork stated that the employers insurance company (Liberty Mutual) had refused payment for services rendered on that day because "visit to the clinic had not been pre-approved by the insurance company." Silly me, I guess I should have known I was going to nearly be killed that day, and gotten pre-approval! One of the providers is sitting on bills totallying more than $5K, and a letter I received advised me that they "cannot" provide any additional services until my insurance carrier pays or I pay. Several of these providers have tried to bill my medical insurance company - BCBS. Of course they've refused also, because NONE of these services were provided with their authorization, and they learned later that it was, in fact, a work comp injury.
I am now looking at surgical intervention - 6 months after the date of injury, and my recovery time and rehab (if the surgery works) will put me out for another 3-6 months.
Its hard to look at Liberty Mutual's TV commercials, which portray it as a company that cares and does the "right thing" by pulling people back as they're about to walk off a curb and get hit by a bus - whe they've done just about everything possible to throw me uder one!
I recommend that if you experience any difficulty with Liberty Mutual, or their subsidiaries such as Indiana Insurance, that you (1) retain an attorney & (2) get a different QRC (3) make a report to the Insurance commissioner of your state, and the Dept of Labor & Industry.