McCutcheon and Hamner make no secret of the fact that if you have been injured we want you as a client. We handle personal injury claims as effectively as we know how. That being said if you or someone you know has been injured on the job do not let the company choose the doctor without talking about that choice to us or some other law firm that is experienced in handling workers compensation cases to tell you how a particular doctor is going to testify about causation and impairment relating to your on the job injury.
Recently McCutcheon and Hamner was in deposition with a Huntsville hand specialist. This orthopedic surgeon, or bone doctor, had been chosen by the employer’s insurance company because of his testimony. As soon as I saw who the doctor was I knew my client and I were in for a tough go.In this case I have a pretty good judge that will know this doctor is questionable but that is just the luck of the draw. Some judges feel bound by the testimony of the physician and other judges will excuse their tendency to lean one way or the other by using the testimony of the physician who in this case is simply a liar.
In this case our client had a repetitive motion injury that resulted in both hands being damaged and surgery on both wrists. My client’s work history consisted entirely and extensively of repetitive hand motion. We all know that every computer keyboard and all of the computer games that involve hand have warnings about known repetitive motion injuries that occur. Most of us have heard of the "blackberry thumb" which comes from extensive thumb use while using a blackberry phone.
This doctor testified that he was not aware of any link between repetitive motion and carpal tunnel syndrome, did not have an opinion as what might have caused my client to get carpal tunnel syndrome not in one hand but both and was clueless about why he billed the employers insurance company for both surgeries.
This worker’s compensation doctor even sent all of my client’s medical records to the employer without an authorization by my client even though he said he had no idea that this was a work related injury, though of course he was paid by the company. We asked this doctor if he had ever thought to pick up the phone and tell someone that he did not know this was an on the job injury before he was paid by the employer. What he did was take the money and do his best to get the employer off the hook for the injury.
This is not the first time we have taken this doctor’s deposition. He will never treat any of our clients if we know in advance who the employer has chosen. Injured workers have the right to demand a panel of four different doctors and if the company doctor doesn’t have the courage to testify truthfully on behalf of their injured patient, the patient should demand a panel and choose a different doctor.