I just came across the following articles from KOB4 TV in Albuquerque, NM about two police officers hurt on the job.
The former police officers from Corrales, NM, Lou Golson and Jeremy Romero, were seriously injured when Golson was shot during a DWI stop in 2015, and Romero was injured when he was involved in a high-speed car chase in 2014. and told he would never walk again.
Officer Romero said he felt abandoned and betrayed by a system that should be protecting him. He says everything started going downhill when he started getting piles of medical bills.
Romero retained a lawyer because the surgeries he needs are not readily approved by workers’ comp.
According to Romero, ““I was immediately denied by my workman’s compensation, and therefore once I receive a denial it goes to the workman’s comp judge,… It will take anywhere from one to six months to see a workman’s comp judge on my complaint.”
On Jan. 3, 2015, Golson was shot four times at point-blank range.
This was just the beginning of an excruciating workers compensation battle. Golson said an adjuster refused to approve procedures he needed because of their costs, delaying care and prolonging time away from work.
This went on for years, the articles said, with workers comp becoming increasingly suspicious that Golson was gaming the system with claims despite the clear evidence of his serious injuries. Finally, he said his adjuster made a comment he’ll never forget.
“‘Heh, you’re not hurt. You’re just old,'” Golson recalled.
Bills he expected to be covered were denied, Golson said.
“I let the collections people keep calling,” he said. “I never paid them, so as a result my credit was destroyed.”
Nearly three years since the shooting, Golson cannot get a loan. He said his family is financially ruined.
“It’s honestly pathetic that an officer who is willing to give his life — or she — who is hurt, devastatingly hurt, has to go through so much mental pain and agony dealing with a government that doesn’t care about them,” Golson said.
“And in my case, for my family’s sake, it probably should have been deadly,…They would be financially better off if I had died. But I didn’t, and that’s pathetic.”
Golson is advocating for reformed workers’ comp. Actually, both men deserve workers’ comp that actually works the way it was supposed to work, and not the way they have been treated by it.
There would be no need for reform if the system worked as it should, and if they could get the surgeries and treatments they need anywhere they wanted, even if that was out of state or out of the country.
This is just plain wrong. We hear about “Black Lives Matter” and all lives matter, but where is the work comp industry on this?