Workers Comp doctor tells explosion victim hearing problem is in his head


US A RING. ABOUT 15 MINUTES LEFT, THEY WILL BE HERE UNTIL 6:30 PM TAKING YOUR QUESTIONS. HOLDING THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE AND GETTING RESULTS, EIGHT ON YOUR SIDE, STEVE ANDREWS INVESTIGATES. AFTER THAT EXPLOSION, WORKERS COMP SENT THIS MAN TO A WALK-IN CLINIC, AND AFTER THAT, IT ONLY GOT WORSE. AN EXPLOSION AT WORK LEFT A LAKELAND MAN WITH SEVERAL SERIOUS INJURIES. AND IF WORKER’S COMP. DOESN’T PROVIDE HIM WITH PROPER MEDICAL CARE, THE INJURIES COULD BECOME PERMANENT. HIS WIFE TELLS STEVE ANDREWS, SHE WOULDN’T TREAT HER DOG LIKE THE WORKER’S COMP. DOCTORS HAVE TREATED HER HUSBAND. IF ONE OF MY DOGS GOT THE SAME KIND OF TREATMENT THAT THIS MAN HAS RECEIVED, I WOULD BE SCREAMING. BUT, WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM AN INSURANCE COMPANY THAT THINKS IT IS OKAY TO SEND A BURN VICTIM THROUGH THIS? ONE PROBLEM WASN’T GOING AWAY. A CONSTANT RINGING IN HIS EARS AND DIMINISHED HEARING. IT WAS REALLY MUFFLED. ALMOST LIKE I HAD WATER IN MY EARS. HE WAS JUST FEET AWAY WHEN THIS HAPPENED AT WORK. THE EXPLOSION KNOCKED DOWN WALLS, IT PUT A HOLE IN THE ROOF. AFTER DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL, THEY REFERRED HIM TO SEVERAL SPECIALISTS, TRAVELERS, THE WORKERS COMP INSURANCE INSTEAD SENT NEIL TO A WALK-IN CLINIC. THEN, IT SET UP A HEARING TEST. SHE WOULD SAY POPCORN, I WOULD SAY CORN, AND SHE WOULD TURN AROUND AND SAY POPCORN, AND I WOULD SAY CORN. THE VERDICT FROM THE WORKER’S COMP. DR. — HE BASICALLY TELLS US, HIS HEARING IS FINE, HIS HEARING ISSUES ARE PROBABLY IN HIS HEAD. DISSATISFIED, THEY PAID FOR THEIR OWN HEARING TEST. IT SHOWED ABSOLUTE EVIDENCE OF HEARING LOSS. THE AUDIOLOGIST WAS QUITE ASTOUNDED, HE SAID, I’M NOT SEEING THINGS THAT ARE TYPICAL FOR A 41-YEAR-OLD MALE. THE ODDS OF IT GETTING BETTER WERE SLIM TO NONE. THEY PRESENTED THE EVIDENCE BACK TO THE PHYSICIAN THAT WAS ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED BY TRAVELERS TO TREAT HIS HEARING LOSS AND THE DOCTORS SAID, I GUESS I MISSED IT THE FIRST TIME. THEY SUDDENLY AGREED THAT HE NEEDED HEARING AIDS THAT WE HAVE ASKED FOR BEFORE. MY DOG AT THE VET GETS TREATED BETTER THAN NEIL HAS BEEN TREATED BY WORKER’S COMP. DOCTORS. ACCORDING TO THE ATTORNEY, UNTIL THE LEGISLATURE AND/OR THE OFFICE OF REGULATION ACTUALLY STARTS REGULATING WORKER’S COMP. CARRIERS LIKE TRAVELERS, PEOPLE HURT ON THE JOB WILL CONTINUE RECEIVING THIS KIND OF CARE. WHEN YOU BRING UP THE OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION, I KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN AFTER SOME SORT OF ANSWER, ANY RESPONSE YET? WE WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT INSURANCE REFORM, STILL WAITING TO INTERVIEW THEM ABOUT WORKER’S COMP. REFORM. LATE THIS AFTERNOON, STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOLD ME SHE READ MY REPORT ABOUT NEIL’S STRUGGLES AND SHE WANTS TO SEE IF SHE CAN HELP HIM GET THE HELP HE NEEDS. THAT IS HOW CHANGE STARTS. SOMEBODY STARTS A DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. YOU SHINE A LIGHT ON IT AND HOPEFULLY PEOPLE RESPOND. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM YOU

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