I help injured workers recover benefits for all types of work-related injuries, including:
- Neck and lower back injuries (herniated and bulging disks, cervical and lumbar fusions, cracked vertebrae, degenerative disc disease)
- Rotator cuff tears and shoulder replacements
- Knee replacements
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Back injuries are a common work related problem in Kentucky. Back injuries that occur at work are usually work related, even if a pre-existing condition was aroused by the injury.
Specific injuries include sprains, strains, bulging discs and herniate discs. Treatment includes medicine, physical therapy, injections, TNS unit electrotherapy, surgical removal of the herniated disc, fusion of the herniated disc and spinal nerve stimulator implants.
Back surgery can mean a large impairment rating will be assigned for an injury. A large impairment rating usually results in substantial benefits for permanent disability. Also, not being able to return to work because of a back injury is an indication of a major claim for permanent disability. If you think you might have back surgery or won’t be able to go back to your job, you need to talk to a Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Sprains, strains, torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), torn medial cruciate ligaments (MCL), torn cartilages, fractured patellas and knee replacements can all be work related injuries in Kentucky.
Permanent problems and the need for more medical treatment can still persist after you reach maximum medical improvement. Therefore, it is important to preserve your rights to future medical treatment and right to reopen, even for minor injuries. For instance, a torn ACL may result in a small impairment rating, but may later lead to a knee replacement that requires costly medical treatment and results in a higher impairment rating.
Shoulder injuries can happen because of repetitive motion or a specific trauma. Torn rotator cuffs that require surgery sometimes result in a small impairment rating, but can still lead to a shoulder replacement years later. Therefore, it is important to retain your rights to future medical expenses and to reopen your claim.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a nerve problem that causes severe pain in a foot, hand, arm or leg because of an injury. It was formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Causalgia. The terms RSD and Causalgia are still used by a lot of medical and legal professionals today. CRPS has two categories, Type I (the former RSD cases) which do not usually have a clearly identified nerve injury, and Type II (the former Causalgia cases) which do have a clearly identified injury to a nerve.
The pain from CRPS has been classified as being greater than that of childbirth or an amputation. The pain can also make it nearly impossible for the victim to be able to work. Worse, the pain normally increases over time, and can spread to other parts of the body.
In addition to pain, other symptoms of CRPS/RSD include:
- Changes in skin texture on the affected area; it may appear shiny and thin
- Abnormal sweating pattern in the affected area or surrounding areas
- Changes in nail and hair growth patterns
- Stiffness in affected joints
- Problems coordinating muscle movement, with decreased ability to move the affected body part, and
- Abnormal movement in the affected limb, most often fixed abnormal posture (called dystonia) but also tremors in or jerking of the affected limb. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
CRPS/RSD can be a work related condition covered by the Kentucky Workers Compensation Act if the original injury was work related. The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently described RSD in a workers’ compensation claim appeal:
RSD (or CRPS) is characterized by pain disproportionate to the underlying injury intensifying over time. RSD symptoms include: burning pain; changes to skin temperature, color, and texture; swelling; and extreme sensitivity to touch.NINDS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Information Page, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ disorders / reflex sympathetic dystrophy / reflex sympathetic dystrophy.htm (last visited Nov. 18, 2013). EPI Corp. v. Boling, 2013-CA-000565-WC, December 20, 2013.
Treatment for RSD/CRPS can be complicated and expensive. It can involve drugs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, sympathetic nerve blocks, surgical destruction of the problem nerves, electronic nerve stimulation above the skin and under the skin with implants, and amputation. Treatment may not work if it is started late.
I have had clients with RSD/CRPS who had to undergo most of the treatment described above, including several clients who had a spinal implant to block the severe pain caused by it.
Treatment is expensive and a diagnosis of CRPS/RSD can result in high impairment rating, and large awards against the employer. Therefore, the employer and its insurance carrier have large financial incentives to fight a claim, even if it is legitimate. They will usually hire a physician to perform an examination in the hopes that their physician will make findings that would diminish their losses. They hope their physician will determine the problems are not work related, that less treatment is needed for them, that a lower impairment rating should be assigned, or that low physical restrictions should be placed on the injured person to allow them to return to work. Some workers’ compensation insurance related web sites seem to indicate special attention should be given to claims involving CRPS/RSD:
I have represented several clients in workers compensation claims for RSD/CRPS that have resulted in significant settlements and awards, and will be happy to give you a free consultation to evaluate your claim:
$744,730 – December 2016 – Won an award of weekly benefits that will pay out $744,730 over claimant’s remaining work life for an injury that caused Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/ Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
$1,107,977.40 – May 2013 – Workers Compensation Board upheld an award for our client who had a work related injury that resulted in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome because of injuries to his legs from a fall at work. The award will be paid weekly until the client reaches retirement age.
$269,509.27 – November 2012 – Workers Compensation Board affirmed a total disability award for our client with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Our client will receive weekly payments that will total $269,509.27 over client’s remaining work life. The insurance carrier offered $6,473.60 to settle the claim before we were retained.
$300,000.00 – April 2012 – Settled a claim for a lump sum of $300,000.00 for a client that developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
For more information about symptoms and treatment, visit:
If you suffered one of these work-related injuries, I have helped previous clients with the same problem, and I can help you obtain the medical benefits and compensation you need.
I have more than 25 years of experience and many significant workers’ compensation settlements and awards.
Skilled Representation For Complex Injuries
If you sustained a cervical fusion, herniated disk, torn rotator cuff, shoulder replacement, knee replacement, or are suffering from RSD/CRPS, it is important to work with an experienced attorney. I have won favorable settlements and awards for clients with these problems before, and I can help you get the benefits you need.
Free Consultations For Injured Workers — Contact A Louisville, Kentucky Back Injury Lawyer
To get the benefits you deserve, call Scheynost Law Offices, P.S.C., 502-638-2675 or contact me online. I offer free consultations and flexible hours.