Injured Workers are subject to the whims of the insurance company


Let me ask you to picture this …You were badly injured at work and just had surgery. In this surgery, your surgeons literally touched and manipulated your bones. Metal was placed in your bones. When they were finished screwing and sawing your bones, they sowed your skin together and sent you to the ward with a Morphine pump for pain control.Then after a day or two in the hospital, you are sent home to recover…

Injured Workers are subject to the whims of the insurance company

Picture it?! What would you be doing?

shoulder-surgery3If you are like me, you would picture a bed, a TV, a good book, and – of course- pain medication after your surgery. You would also envision a doting carer to (help) make your food and drinks and to keep your house or bedroom clean. You’d want someone to help you get to the toilet an help you with showering. You have no use of your right arm, and no use of your right leg, are wheelchair bound although you do your best to hop on 1 crutch.

shoulder-surgery2Two days ago your skin was opened and surgeons touched and manipulated and even sawed off your bones. They had to use tissues and tendons from your leg to fix your arm as well.

Today you’re at home. Can you imagine that without any pain medication?

If you can, good for you. You are a tougher individual than I am!

Unfortunately as an injured worker you are subject to the whims of the workcover insurance company; including your case manager.

But if you’re like me, you have a non-responsive (and of course non-medically trained) case manager. Your case manager has been horrendously unresponsive throughout the duration of your workcover claim. Your case manager has been short and rude. Forget sympathy or empathy, let’s just have neutral. Let’s have a friggin’ robot. At least then you wouldn’t be subject to the workcover case manager ill temper, maladjustment to life, or bad day (bad day everyday for months!)

If you’re an injured worker, chances are you’ll be sitting in bed without pain medication. 48 hours post major surgery. The surgery was eventually approved, but, for some obscure reason, the prescription (for narcotics and nerve pain medications such as Lyrica, Garbapentin etc.) was not. What’s the reason? Who knows? Same goes for home help, not approved, even though you only have the use of  1 arm and 1 leg and your spouse is working full-time, leaving you all alone during the day!

What was I left to do? What could I do? What can you do?

There is little you can do, and there is little your lawyer can do! I can try and coax – hell, flatter- your case manager to do the right thing. Your lawyer can advocate for you. Your lawyer can push. S/he may even file issues. Maybe together you can ask for an emergency conciliation hearing. Best case scenario – a few weeks!

What we need

We (and our lawyers) urgently need some sort of bad faith provisions, whereby such shocking behavior by workcover insurers and their case managers is sanctioned.

If not ourselves than our lawyers surely need to be able to get some relief for their clients, us – injured workers.

Shy of that, injured workers and their lawyers need to speak out! And on behalf of all injured workers as this scenario is all too common!

One frustrated Injured Worker



[Article dictated by WCV and manually transcribed on her behalf].

4 Responses to “Injured Workers are subject to the whims of the insurance company”

  1. Is there a Workover ombudsman? We really REALLY need someone that can review Insurer practices and our treatment or lack there of and can make an order that must be followed by the company.
    It doesn’t seem to matter what Doctors, Medical Panels, Conciliation, Solicitors etc say the Insurers’ are that big they just ignore advice and please themselves and do what they want.
    If you’ve seen the movie ‘Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy’ you might see similarities between the Insurers’ and the Vogons! There’s untold amounts of Forms to be filled out in triplicate then the request goes missing. I can only imagine lots of our case managers look like a Vogon underneath too.

  2. I totally agree.
    I was approved home care while recovering from major surgery (having no one at home to look after me) but I was only approved for a few sessions of 1.5 hours. It seemed a cunning ploy to appear to be offering something that was so meagre it was not worth the trouble of taking.

    The government and scheme agents are silent on the matter of ‘good faith’ and ‘duty of care’ because they know the Pandora’s box it would open. My claim was littered with blatant and significant ‘acts of bad faith’ and breach of ‘duty of care’. From personal experience, my own and others, I believe it would be the norm rather than the exception.

    It is certainly a gross imbalance of power that the injured worker is held accountable to the nth degree and the insurer and their minions are not.

    • Funny, all sounds familiar. Since 2003 on and off, we received similar care. I think you’r right, they offer a token help (not enough) to appear good. Our case the Home care came, done her thing which was limited. After she left, my wife redone the work she carried out, as simply it was not up to standard.
      Even worse, we realized what a waist of time, change of service provider, etc. It was just easier for my good wife to do the work herself. When the care provider came. ultimately she would unload tools, Fluff a duster then sit down. Then for the duration to share our coffee and a story. (She got paid and we got ripped. At least someone else was benefiting and not QBE)

read-before-u-commentThis is a statement pointing you to our seriously injured but esteemed and honourable Social Networking Sites Warning and our comment policy. A must read in the context of a very adversarial workcover system! Remember to mention in which state you reside if you seek advice.

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