Elderly Amputee Fights Texas Workers Compensation Claim DenialSeptember 25, 2015
An elderly woman who lost most of her right leg in an auto accident had her Texas workers compensation claim denied. Jane Hays, 73, sat on the board of Texas Political Subdivisions, the agency that administers workers compensation claims for cities, counties and other local governmental entities across the state. She was leaving a board meeting when she was struck by a car near Navasota. When she filed her Texas workers compensation claim, the same agency for which she worked denied her claim.
Details of the Texas Workers Compensation Claim
Ms. Hays was driving home to Temple, where she also works for the local school district, on Saturday, July 11. She had just left a Texas Political Subdivisions board meeting in a north Houston suburb. According to her Texas workers compensation claim, a car traveled into her lane and struck her Jeep Grand Cherokee at 70 miles an hour. The Jeep flipped and stopped upside down. The impact left her legs crushed under the vehicle’s front end. The Texas workers compensation claim stated that she was trapped in the vehicle for nearly an hour while first responders cut her loose.
Texas Workers Compensation Claim Describes Injuries, Amputation
Her Texas workers compensation claim also described the extent of her injuries. She told local reporters that she looked down the stretcher to see “part of the leg dangling off of the stretcher…the foot was all twisted and going back and forth.” Doctors told her gave her two options. She could choose between amputation and numerous surgeries to repair the leg, including replacing part of the missing shin bone, with no guarantee that she would ever walk again. After some deliberation, she chose amputation.
Texas Workers Compensation Claim Denied Hours Before Amputation
Less than a day before she was scheduled to undergo the amputation procedure, Ms. Hays learned that her Texas workers compensation claim had been denied. The agency denied the claim on the grounds that her injury while in transit falls into a “gray area” of the law. TPS executive director Randal Beach expressed his dismay at denying Ms. Hays Texas workers compensation claim, but told reporters, “I have to follow the law (and) treat it like another claim.”
Texas Workers Compensation Claim Denial Questions “Course and Scope”
State law allows workers to file a Texas workers compensation claim if their travels are part of the “course and scope” of their job duties. The denial came in spite of the fact that Ms. Hays attended the meeting as a representative of Temple ISD. According to the attorney representing her in her Texas workers compensation claim case, the school district “paid for lodging, they’ve paid for mileage, and she’s on the clock for the school district,” all of which could fall under the definition of “course and scope” for the filing of a Texas workers compensation claim.
Source: Texas Tribune
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