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Can you give me a hand delayed decision causes me to be excluded

#1 User is offline   duckfeet 

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  Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:29 PM

Complex to explain so please be patient!

In March 2004 I had a motorcycle accident. I suffered a left side brachial plexus injury such that i became paralysed on the left hand side from the elbow down (erb's palsey). I was seen at the hospital on the day then sent home. It wasn't found at the time but i also damaged my neck such that i became weaker ion the left hand side. This was the originating accident.

I have received great help from ACC as well as reasonable compensation (lump sum) but i chose not to take work compensation but carried on working. I received no rehabilitation and felt, i have to say, as though i was considered too hard to fix so ignored. Over the next two years i got a lot of good help from ACC and was able to continue working. However my right arm began to suffer and in March 2007 i had surgery to fix some overuse issues. It was a disaster and required further emergency surgery to correct the initial problems which in itself caused even more problems. As a result of this i have been severly compromised on the right hand side and i now consider myself (and am considered by others including ACC) to be severely disabled. ACC accepted, after investigation, the medical misadventure thing and i was financially compensated. I still have not received workers compensation and took little time away from work.

Things did not go so well from here and in October 2007 my Left hand was amputated. I was rather disadvantaged, i felt, by this unfortunate turn of events and sought assistance from the NZALB in the form of the new I-Hand. This is a very expensive prosthetic hand that can offer a great deal of functionality similar to that offered by an actual hand. For totally political reasons the NZALB denied me the prosthetic even though their own surgeon, thier own overseas peer group and expert rehab specialists in New Zealand have agreed that the product was the right one for me. ACC quite rightly stated that unless the NZALB recommended the hand they would not pay for it.

To cut a very long, boring and complex story short I have spent the last year and a half taking tests, undergoing assessments and making a complete PITA of myself to get the hand. Mainly because it would work for me but also because i was and am insensed by the actions of the limb board.

At this stage i am in a quandry and need you help. ACC have still not made a decision and have required me to undertake yet another assessment to ensure i could use the hand but also to see if there is a cheaper alternative (there isn't). During this assessment (part 2 of which is this afternoon) it has been discovered that because i have not been using a prosthetic device of any description over this year and a half my arm has wasted away to the extent that i am now probably unable to use the arm. Early tests done in february last year and again in June in Australia (at my expense) showed at the time that i was eminently able to use it. Now i struggle to even lift it.

The prognosis is dim and, to be honest, i am rather miffed as if the Limb board had been honest in the begining i would almost certainly have been wearing the arm right now. What can i do? ACC have definitely dragged their feet over making a decision. Even now a decision has not been made and this delay has forestalled other remedies that could have helped. Do i have any recourse? My right arm is deteriorating rapidly and i am going to have to become left side dominant soon wether i want to or not. I now require 12hr care daily (not really enough) just to survive. Is this going to be removed under the new govenrment?

Am i asking the right questions here? They (ACC) have been reasonable and i am a client of the Serious Injury Service but i just wish they could have moved fast enough that my arm could have been saved.

I hope you can help
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#2 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:50 PM

This is a serious complex case well beyond the expertise of most on here!
I suggest you get to a good lawyer.
What is your GP doing about all this??
Good luck and a very sad touching story.
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#3 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:10 AM

You say you can't lift your left arm very easily now??

I suggest you have a look at the role your neck plays not only on the left arm problem, but also the right.

If you can save a bit of wear and tear on the right by some shoulder/neck brace this may be a help in the meantime.

If you are having problems lifting the left arm, will the hand actaully do any good??

You say you get 9 hours home/help, I take it that means your not at work any longer and are getting 80% weekly compo?

At the end of the day I would just reserve as much power as I possibly can to make the best of a very tragic situation. (Never did like my son riding that ducati!!!)

No one can say you havent tired 150% to remain in the workforce, but sometimes, sadly we just have to care enough for our bodies, to make them last the distance.

I feel immense pride that you have taken such a strong stance. Put your strength into getting the best possible apparatus to stop you from getting any worse, and also your hand, if only to make you feel better.

I know the loss of your job and lifestyle is tremendous and it is hard to accept you are not able to get any of it back. Even just conversing with people who understand helps.

So please keep coming and letting us know how you are doing. I am sorry I cannot help you.

Regards and good Luck
Mini
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#4 User is offline   duckfeet 

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:40 PM

View PostMINI, on Mar 7 2009, 12:10 PM, said:

You say you can't lift your left arm very easily now??

I suggest you have a look at the role your neck plays not only on the left arm problem, but also the right.

If you can save a bit of wear and tear on the right by some shoulder/neck brace this may be a help in the meantime.

If you are having problems lifting the left arm, will the hand actaully do any good??

You say you get 9 hours home/help, I take it that means your not at work any longer and are getting 80% weekly compo?

At the end of the day I would just reserve as much power as I possibly can to make the best of a very tragic situation. (Never did like my son riding that ducati!!!)

No one can say you havent tired 150% to remain in the workforce, but sometimes, sadly we just have to care enough for our bodies, to make them last the distance.

I feel immense pride that you have taken such a strong stance. Put your strength into getting the best possible apparatus to stop you from getting any worse, and also your hand, if only to make you feel better.

I know the loss of your job and lifestyle is tremendous and it is hard to accept you are not able to get any of it back. Even just conversing with people who understand helps.

So please keep coming and letting us know how you are doing. I am sorry I cannot help you.

Regards and good Luck
Mini

Hi
I think you missed the point a wee bit. The key concern i have is that ACC took so long in making or delaying making a decision that my health deteriorated to the point that even if they made the decision today i would no longer be able to use it. Documented proof exists showing that a year ago i would have been able to use the hand. Th question is wether i would have degraded if i had been given the prosthetic last year. My contention is that constant use would have toned and strengthened the muscles that remain.

In the end ACC delayed making a decision (i still haven't got one) and i lost the one chance i had to return to a relatively normal state of health. I am hurt that this has happened but also that there is no acknowledgement of this by either ACC or by the Limb Board. I seek remedy and recourse but have no idea how to get it as because ACC has not made a decision i cannot appeal it. ergo nothing can happen.

Thanks for your thoughts
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#5 User is offline   Huggy 

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:46 PM

You can file a review against ACC for unreasonably delaying to provide a decision.
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#6 User is offline   Gloria Mitchell 

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 04:51 PM

View PostHuggy, on Mar 8 2009, 03:46 PM, said:

You can file a review against ACC for unreasonably delaying to provide a decision.


Yes! file review for unreasonable delay in making decision. Your argument is that they had all the information to hand from which to make a decision.

You probably need to contact the likes of John Millar law or if in the south island Peter Sara (lawyers most experienced in acc legislation)

You don't say if the cause of your losing the left hand directly relates to your original injury, if that is correct you the info should be there to streamline your applications.

You have my felicitations, this will be very frustrating for you....but just don't give up, do get the solicitor on board if possible.

Is there not a specialist who understands how you can bring back enough muscle use to make the prosthetic hand viable again? Don't give up.....keep asking....goggle stuff and see what you can begin to do to help.

good luck and keep coming in here for help and or company of fellows who understand your plight.

regards gloria.
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#7 User is offline   duckfeet 

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:36 PM

View PostGloria Mitchell, on Mar 8 2009, 05:51 PM, said:

Yes! file review for unreasonable delay in making decision. Your argument is that they had all the information to hand from which to make a decision.

You probably need to contact the likes of John Millar law or if in the south island Peter Sara (lawyers most experienced in acc legislation)

You don't say if the cause of your losing the left hand directly relates to your original injury, if that is correct you the info should be there to streamline your applications.

You have my felicitations, this will be very frustrating for you....but just don't give up, do get the solicitor on board if possible.

Is there not a specialist who understands how you can bring back enough muscle use to make the prosthetic hand viable again? Don't give up.....keep asking....goggle stuff and see what you can begin to do to help.

good luck and keep coming in here for help and or company of fellows who understand your plight.

regards gloria.

information that helps. thankyou very much for this.

I am pretty certain that now i have failed the assessment ACC will make the decision and that will be the end of that.

I am looking into ways to regain the strength i have lost but can already hear the sighs of relief and 'told you so's comming from the corrupted establishment.

Your kind thoughts bouyed me though and its nice, but tragic, to know there are others out there who have been through some of the stuff i have been through.

Regards
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#8 User is offline   raged&obtused 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:06 AM

Hi there

Speak to your case manager (and doctor) about an Activity Based Programme - this is a gym based programme where an occupational therapist will work with you to regain the muscle and strength that you have lost. In most cases these programmes only go for a max of 12 weeks but it sounds like you have a pretty unusual situation going there. You may be able to regain enough muscle tone to then enable you to take another shot at this.

It doesn't sound to me like ACC has unreasonably delayed their decision regarding your prosthesis as a specialist had advises that this was not appropriate for you at that time - ACC would not have been able to then grant funding for this against other medical advice.

Best of luck
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#9 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:49 AM

Hey what happened to my reply?? Someone editing?? I put legal avenues up here in reply!!!!
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#10 User is offline   duckfeet 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

View PostMINI, on Mar 9 2009, 08:49 AM, said:

Hey what happened to my reply?? Someone editing?? I put legal avenues up here in reply!!!!

I did see these briefly but then they disappeared. can you re-post them?
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#11 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:26 PM

Sorry Duckfeet but the tired old head only keeps something in it for half a mo, then it is gone. It would have had relevence at the time. I am juat intriged as to whoin admid would want to stop me from helping you.

As much as I can rmember it was along the lines of the others up there now.

I will get you the section to Review, Ho up there a mo, and hope it doesnt go flying into cyberspace this time.

Section 134 Who may apply for Review
(1) A Claimant may apply to the Corporation for a review of-
(b)any delay in processing the claim for entitlement that the claimant believes is an
unreasonable delay

Hope this helps a little. Get yourself a copy of the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation,and Compensation Act 2001 so you can understand your entitlements. Besides you have a good brain that should not remain idle.

Cheers
Mini
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