I was Misdiagnosed Due to My Injury Being a Comp Case

Question:

I was injured on the job 4/13/01 lifting equipment. I was sent to a surgeon because of a bulge and groin pain. The Doctor saw that it was a WC case and told me that “complicated matters” He did no physical exam and ordered a cat scan of the abdominal area. He put “no hernia” in his office report before any test results. The test did not show a hernia and he said it was muscular despite my complaints of increasing pain.
A year later and I’m not getting better. The insurance sent me for an IME, they thought a hernia and sent to anothoer surgeon. It turns out I had a hernia all along and now have permanent nerve damage in the groin as well as a host of other related problems.
Do I have any recourse with this surgeon who was more worried about the coverage rather than the patient? I have had three doctors who have said that the hernia going untreated and all the PT I did made it worse.

–Louis, Oakbrook, IL

Answer:

As you probably know, you certainly have a Workers Compensation case. It seems to me based on the tone of your letter that you already have a WC attorney. So, my question is: What does your attorney say? He owes you the duty to review your records and give you an answer. He owes you that duty to protect you. He should take the records to a medical specialist and determine if there is the physician you are referring to was negligent or careless.
Certainly the extent to which you are injured plays a major role. Malpractice cases are expensive to prosecute. However, I am familiar with the nerve injury to which you are referring. That can be terribly painful. I have seen that that injury can frequently be resolved by resecting the nerve during surgery. Have you considered that?
Anyway, your records need to be taken to a medical specialist so that a proper answer can be found, unless it is determined that the injury is not severe which means it would not be economically viable to pursue a malpractice claim.
Your workers compensation attorney owes you at least that. Doesn’t he?