A workers compensation claim should be a straightforward affair because you aren't required to prove anybody's negligence (as is typical with personal injury cases). Unfortunately, these claims aren't always that simple. Here are some circumstances that can complicate your workers' compensation claim:
You Have a Pre-existing Medical Condition
Your workers' compensation claim cannot be denied merely because you have a pre-existing health condition, but the condition can complicate your claim. This is because workers' compensation only compensates for job-related injuries, and it may be difficult to extricate your fresh injuries from the pre-existing ones.
This means that the complexity of the claim will depend on the relationship between your injuries and your pre-existing medical issues. The more the two issues are related the more complex your claim will be, and the reverse isn't true. For example, an existing STI (sexually transmitted infection) shouldn't complicate your broken limb claim, but fractures from an earlier car accident will definitely affect a claim based on fractures sustained in a slip and fall injury accident at work.
You Have an Invisible Injury
Invisible injuries are real even if other people can't see them. Examples of invisible injuries include joint sprains, whiplash, soft tissue injuries and emotional and psychological injuries such as post traumatic stress disorder. The complication here is how to prove that the injuries you are talking about actually exist and aren't just a figment of your imagination. Some workers have also tried to scam the system in the past by claiming for non-existent injuries, which means insurers and employers have to be naturally wary of invisible injuries.
Your Condition Has a Potential Alternative Cause
As previously explained, workers' compensation insurance is meant to compensate you for the damages stemming from your work-related injuries. Therefore, the insurer has to confirm that you were actually injured by a work-related accident and not something else that occurred outside the workplace and not related to your work.
Determining whether an injury is work-related is easier in some cases than others. For example, repetitive strain injuries can either be caused by your actions at work or by your poor exercise routine. If you have such an injury, expect the insurance company to link the two together to reduce their expected payout.
As you can see, a workers' compensation claim isn't guaranteed to be simple. Therefore, don't assume anything when filing your claim, especially if you suspect a complication. Consult a workers' compensation attorney or firm like Law Offices Of Timothy L Lapointe PC to assess your claim and help you process it.
26 July 2017
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