I have been suffering from back pain now for 7 years. After my claim was closed last time, I began to have further exacerbations of pain, until I could no longer deal with the constant pain. My case was re-opened, and I was afforded modest treatment with chiropractic care, and shots to my spine. After seeing Labor and Industries Independent medical doctors, they claimed I was fine and could return to work, ignoring the evidence from my long-term After a few quick meetings with a vocational counselor, it was decided that I would not benefit from further treatment (though the treatment I had received was minimal at best) and that I could return to work as a parking lot attendant. Being as I have worked in skilled trades for most of my life, this was a slap in the face to my dignity. On that faulty basis, Labor and Industries closed my claim. I was stunned, to say the least. I could hardly walk for more than two hours, cannot sleep more than five to six hours without increased pain throughout the following day, and still cannot pick up more than a milk jug without fear of exacerbating the pain… but I was expected to return to work full time. I had no idea what to do, as I could not afford a lawyer, due to the bills piling up on me, and exhausting my meager savings. My wife has stood by me through all of this, but she also feared that our lives had taken a turn for the worst, and our future was uncertain. I had just about accepted that I would be forced to live a life of constant pain, and be forced to take a meaningless job somewhere…anywhere, just to eke out a living.
That is when my brother called me and said he had heard a commercial on the radio (KISW) where a law firm named Palace Law was offering a free consultation for injured workers. I was skeptical that anything would happen, as I have been worn down by this whole process, and didn’t have much faith in anything concerning my future anymore. But as I had nowhere else to turn, I figured I might as well give this a shot. I called Palace Law, and after a few medical questions, they set an appointment. After hearing my story, and reading through the medical evidence, it was decided that they would take on my case. I was asked if I had seen an Orthopedist for my injury, and being a little naive as to exactly what doctors do, I said no I had not, and wondered what they could do for me that the neurologists couldn’t. I had no idea that I should have been sent long ago to an Orthopedist, (as most people would who have never had to deal with this type of thing before)… but quickly set up an appointment. Again, I didn’t expect much, as I had seen so many Doctors from L&I for “IME’s,” and had been disappointed each time, as I realized that these people get paid either way the outcome.) I had even proven one of the Doctors had contradicted his own statements, and instead of L&I “86ing” his report, they sent me to another IME, where the results were less than Professional again. If I had known that I had not even needed to submit to another IME, I never would have. It is quite demeaning to go through an ordeal like this, living with intense pain, and being told “You’re fine…there’s nothing wrong with you.” But Palace law helped me through the process, explained what I should expect, and put me on the right path to seeing a qualified Doctor. At each step, they advised me on what my choices were, and how my decisions could affect the outcome.
After seeing the Orthopedist, and the proper tests were done, the evidence showed that I had nerve damage down my leg, in addition to the tears and bulges in my discs, and the area of pain was diagnosed to be radicular. It became quite clear to me that I had no idea how to address these issues on my own, and with the help of Palace Law, and the right Doctors, a proper solution has been agreed upon. L&I had closed the case and re-affirmed the order, but due to the persistence and professionalism of the staff at Palace Law, my appeal was filed, and though the process was lengthy, we were finally granted a reversal. At this time I am awaiting a surgery date, and have new hope, not only for my future but the future of those who count on me to bring home the bacon. This process has been a long and tiring one…but the outcome has given me renewed faith that there are good people fighting for the rights of injured workers. And on contingency at that…which is quite a risk to take. I will definitely recommend Palace Law to any friends or family that may be in need of legal assistance for their work-related injuries. This is a process of patience and determination, and the staff at Palace law did a fine job and has the heartfelt thanks from me and my family. I couldn’t have done it without you. I look forward to a good recovery, and will definitely be glad when I can get back to work, and feel like a productive citizen again.
— David W. D.