Sunday, April 7, 2013

Worker's Comp

Workers Compensation Interview Transcript, Bere, Tchad.  

Consultant: Please state your place of employment and job title.

Patient:  I work at the river fishing. 

Consultant:  How long have you worked there?

Patient:  Since I was five.

Consultant:  You started work at age five?

Patient:  I was hungry, wasn’t I?

Consultant:  Ok, fine. What is your salary?  

Patient:  The fish I catch provides food for my family.  If there is any leftover, I sell it.
Consultant:  What was your injury?

Patient:  Left thigh wound.

Consultant:  What happened?

Patient:  I was bit.

Consultant:  You were bit?

Patient:  I said I was bit, didn’t I?

Consultant:  By a fish?

Patient:  By a horse.

Consultant:  A horse in the river?

Patient:  A horse in the river.

Consultant:  A horse in the river bit you in your left thigh?

Patient:  A horse in the river bit me in my left thigh.

Consultant:  What kind of horse?

Patient:  A black horse.

Consultant:  A black horse?

Patient:  Am I not speaking English?  Yes, I said a black horse.

Consultant:  You’re not speaking English.  This is being translated.  What kind of black horse?

Patient:  You know, the black horses that go down into the river and become hippopotami.

Consultant:  A hippopotamus bit your left thigh?

Patient:  I suppose you could say that.

Consultant:  You suppose I could say that, or I could say that?  This is serious, official stuff.  On the record and what not.

Patient:  You could say that.

Consultant: Ok, tell me what happened.

Patient:  I was minding my own business, wading in pretty deep water.  I had only caught a couple of fish so far.  I threw my net out again.  All of a sudden I saw a huge beast come up out of the mirky water.  It’s mouth was WIDE open.  It made a deep grunting noise.  It was so fast that I could not get away soon enough.  It took a big chomp out of my leg, and by God’s grace I was able to get away.  It left a gigantic gash on both sides of my left thigh, through muscles and vessels clear down to the bone.  I lost a lot of blood.  I live in Tchoua, so it’s about 8 km away from Bere Hospital.  I got there with blood soaked clothes, but was soon repaired.  I’m so thankful that my leg was not broken.  The next day, I had a fever of 104.

Consultant:  So another typical hippo bite worker’s comp claim.  Can you tell me what protective equipment you were wearing?

Patient:  I had my shorts on.

Consultant:  Were you wearing your safety goggles?

Patient:  I was bit in the leg.

Consultant:  Please just answer the question.

Patient:  No.

Consultant:  I’m sorry to inform you that your lack of safety goggles is noncompliant with OSHA’s Hippo-Infested-River-Fishing Guidlines Regulation F.3.hh.10.6/3, as updated 06/2010, see version 8.4. Therefore, we will not be able to meet your request for worker’s compensation. Have a lovely day.

Patient:  Who will pay my hospital bills?  This is a very lengthy stay, requiring surgeries and IV antibiotics and lab tests and many other costs.

Consultant:  I’m afraid you and your family will be responsible for this bill.

Patient:  Where will I come up with the $40?


  1. I'll pay it. Carol

  2. Of course an experienced personal injury lawyer will fight for maximum compensation for the workers injury claims.

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  3. Thanks for sharing, I think..a little gruesome don't you think?

    workers comp attorney Andover, MA