I thought I took care of this a fucking YEAR ago!!!!

July 31 of 2002 I was at work in the deli department of a grocery store, slicing roast beef on an electric slicer with all safety equipment in its proper place and being operated properly, when the beef slipped somehow and my thumb hit the metal blade. I lost a slice off the top, tip and side of my thumb that took off most of the thumbnail, half the nail bed, a great deal of the fingerprint and quite a bit of flesh. I had to argue with the manager on duty to get them to take me to a hospital instead of just sending me home to go to my own doctor, but it was very clearly a workmen’s comp case, and I made sure they were going to file the claim. When I checked in at the hospital, I told them it was WC and gave them all the information I had about who the company was.

A few weeks later, I received a bill in the mail from the hospital’s emergency room, charging me for the visit. I called the hospital, and they told me to call the company in New York City that’s in charge of the emergency room billing. I called them, told them it was a WC issue, and they said ok. I then called the store and made sure they had filed the claim; they said they had.

Six months go by, during which my thumb heals very well and I assume all is right with the world. Then I start getting the threatening letters from the collections agency. I tell them the issue, call the hospital and the NYC ER people and the store again, and write a letter to the hospital so they’ll have it in writing. By this time I no longer worked for the grocery store - I’d quit shortly after the accident - and they refused to give me the information on their WC insurance company, claiming only employees are priveleged to know that information. It takes several weeks for this to clear up, during which time I am harassed by the collections agency so often that I consider siccing a lawyer on everyone just to make it go away.

I should’ve done it.

Another six months go by, and here I am in Texas with a thumb that you can’t even tell was ever sliced off. I get ANOTHER FUCKING BILL. NOW I’m fucking PISSED. I’ve told these people a good three times now that it’s not my fucking issue! Apparently somebody somewhere isn’t doing their goddamn job, and I don’t have a fucking clue why it’s MY job to do it FOR them! I can’t even go to the grocery store and kick asses because I’m 1,700 miles away! So I guess I get to call everyone AGAIN, write MORE letters, and this time if it doesn’t get cleared up immediately I’m going to HAVE to get a lawyer.

Y’know, if they’d done this right the first time, I’d’ve been happy. If I’d had to get a lawyer the first time they fucked it up, I would’ve just gone to court to get the fees settled properly. But now I’m pissed, and if I end up having to get a lawyer I want damages or something. Even if it’s just ten fucking dollars, I want SOMETHING for having to put up with their bullshit all the time. I am so pissed off I can’t even write a good thread about it. Grr!!!

Sorry you have to deal with all this bullshit, racinchikki. Long distance, no less.

Hearing that story, I’m now creeped out by the radio ads for a local sub chain, that brag their meat and cheese are sliced fresh in the store every morning. Before my next ham-and-cheese on white, I wanna check thumbs.

Seems to me if it’s on white you wouldn’t need to check.

Actually, to creep you out even more, the blade was so sharp that I didn’t even feel it - just saw blood welling out - and when i yanked my hand back somehow the thumb tip came back off the blade and stuck to the rest of my hand, and didnt’ come off until I ran my hand under cold water, at which point it went down the sink drain…

you can maybe see if there is a labor relations board in the state that you came from and give them a call. You also could talk to the Attorney general in that state. Another thought is if you remember what tv station in your home city are the sic the bad guys station. You know the ones people phone when the landlord digs up the backyard and rips off the front door and never replaces it?

Man, that sucks. I still keep getting letters from a collection agency for a debt my Dad owed, which had nothing to do with me.

This is after I explained that my Dad owed the debt, and not me, and that he had passed away four years ago. They still send me letters.

Copaesthetic, send them a registered letter, with a copy of your dad’s death certficate. If you recieved an inheritance, you could be liable for the bill after all, as debts are paid out before inheritances. If he left nothing, let them know, they will quit bugging you because it’s a waste of money to keep trying to collect it. Collectors need to make large sums of money to get paycheck from their bosses.

racinchikki, you really need to get on top of this with the WC people as well as your former employer. You need proof, in writing that you don’t owe this money. Send it to collection agency. Ask for proof of the debt iif you haven’t already. If you ask by registered mail, they are required to cease contact until they can provide the sheet of paper at the hospital that you signed, or other such documentation.

Collectors tend to be cynical and therefore written proof is necessary, to keep some of them honest.

~J

…Time to finish the job…

… and this time… it’s personal.
…With a vengeance.
FALL 2003

When that happened to me the first time, racinchikki, my boss drove me to the hospital himself. There was never any question about the situation. He was all over it.

The second time I didn’t even bother doing to the hospital. It dug in and hit bone, and since I had to work a 12 hour shift I wrapped it up, cleaned everything up, and worked. The things I do for my jobs.

Incidentally, does it ever still hurt for you? Every so often the site where it happened (on both of my thumbs) will actually hurt, and it happened about 7-8 years ago.

It doesn’t spontaneously ache, but it still hurts if I get anything under that nail. No more manicures for me!

I called Grand Union to get their insurance information and was given a number for a guy in HR, who I will have to call tomorrow between 8 am and 4 pm (damn Eastern/Central time difference).

What kind of “proof in writing” can I get? I mean, I cut my fuckin’ thumb off on a meat slicer, how could it not be WC? It’s not like I did it on purpose.

The collections agency hasn’t contacted me again this time - it’s just a bill from the hospital. I wrote a letter to that hospital six months ago explaining the situation. Grah.

And when I signed in to the hospital it was put down as worker’s comp! What the fucking hell?

Obviously nothing is going to get done unless I do everyone’s job for them. This should not be my goddamn responsibility.

racinchikki - you are going to have to do everyone’s job for them, repeatedly, and document every instance.

And never, ever have a phone conversation about this. Do it all by mail that you can prove.

What you should do RIGHT NOW is write to the credit bureaus and explain that have an a collection agency and hospital sending bills without merit.

Call your State Atty office and find out exactly how to handle this in your state.

I remember having a the same sort of thing happen to a co-worker of mine. The insurance did pay and the hospitable was just double billing and trying for some more cash.

To clear something up: Right now NO COLLECTIONS AGENCY IS BOTHERING ME. And I’ve seen my credit report within the past eight weeks, and the hospital bill is not on it. At the moment, it is an issue between myself, the grocery store and the hospital.

I am sending another letter to the hospital and grocery store, in addition to telephoning both them and the grocery store’s home office tomorrow.

j.c., I can see that obviously I do have to do everyone’s job, but I still think it’s a crock of shit and totally unacceptable that I should need to be in this position. Apparently accountability means nothing in today’s society. It’s not like I worked for a huge corporation - it’s a place with maybe 20 stores in two states, and the location where I worked had under 100 employees total, with only five in my department, so everyone knew everybody else’s name. You’d think in a place like that there’d be enough human decency for chopped-off thumbs to be dealt with in a polite and timely manner, but nooooo. I have a copy of the accident report, so I do know they filed that, but I had to bother them for a month after the accident to see if they’d filed the WC claim and I still haven’t seen a copy of that so for all I know they never got around to it. Useless fucking fucks!

And it really doesn’t help that my home phone doesn’t have long-distance service on it. Graaaaah.

By the law technically it is your responsibility…

Well, that’s just fucking great, considering the fucking hospital wants the fucking grocery store’s WC insurer’s name and policy number, which the grocery store refused to give me when I called them today because I am no longer employed by them.

Things just keep looking up for me!

You’ve already tried and failed to get the hospital (or the hospital billing dept.) to call the grocery store, right?

You might try to enlist the help of a social worker at the hospital. One might take pity on you, call the grocery, and possibly start the ball rolling.

I understand your frustration, but this is your responsibility. Suppose someone had come into your store, ordered some meat, and then walked off without paying. You stop the guy and say “Hey, you have to pay for that.” He says “Oh, I’m buying this meat for my friend. He was supposed to have sent you the money.” You say “Well, we haven’t gotten the money. You’ll have to get your friend to send the money”. He replies “That’s my friend’s job. It’s not my responsibility. I’ll just take this meat, and leave the issue of the money to you and my friend to sort out”. Would you go along with that? You have an obligation to the hospital to secure payment (notice that I did not say make payment). Your former employer has a responsibility to make payment. I would suggest that you send a letter demand to your former employee telling them to sort this out, and threatening civil (including punitive damages) and criminal action if they do not.

Something else that you can do (although it would be expensive) is to seek a supoena for their WC information (although if they’re British that might not work out so well :slight_smile: ). Or just see if you can get a current employee to get it for you.

But she’s already dealt with it. She sorted it out six months or more previously. She has done all she was supposed to, and everyone claimed they were happy with that. Now it’s resurfaced, and she has to do it all over again! She shouldn’t have to do it all over again, she has done her part - hence her frustration.

This sounds like a job for three-way calling.

Thank you, Guanolad, for explaining my frustration in terms for simpler and better than I could have chosen myself.

ENugent, that’s basically what I ended up doing. From 10:30 until 12:15 today, I was on the phone constantly, calling four or five different people in the two companies, calling other people and calling them back, going in circles. Eventually I got hold of somebody in the hospital’s billing department who seemed to know what was going on with the claims (apparently the hospital had been billing the insurance company the grocery store had used TWO YEARS BEFORE THE INCIDENT, and never called the actual grocery store to check with anything when the payment was denied), and then I got hold of somebody in the grocery store’s home office who specializes in doing the WC claims, and gave the latter the phone number of the former, so they can duke it out. Both parties seemed reasonably agreeable to this, so hopefully this time it’ll really work and I won’t be getting another bill come January.