Thursday, June 23, 2011

And You Thought YOU Got Screwed in Your Comp Claim?

Jason Schecterle - Before and After Accident

I recently came across an article in my favorite newspaper, the New Times, that made me chuckle as an Arizona Workers Compensation attorney.  It had to do with the work injury claim of one of Arizona's most beloved heroes, Jason Schecterle.  For those who have lived here a while, you'll remember Schecterle as the Phoenix Police officer who sustained FOURTH degree burns over most of his body when his Crown Vic police cruiser was rear ended in 2001.  He was burned beyond recognition and has undergone over 50 surgeries to recover from his horrific injuries. 

However, a recent Findings and Award issued by the Industrial Commission of Arizona stated that "information in your file indicates that your injury is not affecting your earning ability at this time" and that "no permanent work restrictions (are) noted."  Then comes the bureaucratic kick in the crotch:  "there are no medical contraindications which would preclude you from returning to the same or similar work, thereby sustaining no loss of earning capacity."  Those of us who receive these Awards regularly can only chuckle! 

Remarkably, Schecterle had returned in 2005 as a limited duty detective for the department's homicide unit where he worked on dozens of murder cases in spite of his monumental physical limitations.  However, after 18 months, he had to retire because of his diminished eyesight and the toll that working was taking on his body. 

To her credit, ICA Director Laura McGrory, who is a fantastic Director as well as person, is personally working to correct the mistake, calling it a good "teaching moment" for her staff. 

Chad T. Snow is a workers compensation attorney in Phoenix and Tucson Arizona.  He and his associates at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley can be reached anytime for questions about Arizona work injuries at (602) 532-0700 or (520) 647-9000. 

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