How Can We Prove That A Repetitive Use Injury Is Work-Related?
In order for a repetitive use or occupational disease injury to be compensable, there must be proof that the disease is due to the conditions of employment, that it followed as a natural incident of the work and as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment, and that it did not result from a hazard to which the employee would have been equally exposed outside of the employment.
How Commonly Will A Repetitive Use Injury Claim Be Denied?
It is extremely common for a repetitive use injury claim to be denied, particularly if it involves an upper extremity injury. Don’t be discouraged – seek a free consultation with an attorney right away.
Why Are Repetitive Use Injury Claims Denied So Often?
Repetitive use injury claims are denied often because they cannot be related to specific events, such as lifting a heavy box and thereby sustaining a back injury. Acute injuries are more obvious because the change from being able to work at full capacity per usual to being injured and unable to work happens very quickly and can be pinpointed to a specific time. In addition, witnesses are much less common in repetitive use injury claims. The medical treatment guidelines and causation requirements that apply to repetitive use injuries also make it easy for insurance carriers to deny claims.
Will My Past Medical History Be Used Against Me In A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If a pre-existing condition becomes aggravated due to work-related activities then it becomes treatable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, which means it becomes a valid workers’ compensation claim. For example, if someone had low back fusion surgery at some point in the past and later lifting a box at work aggravated their back then the insurance carrier would be required to provide treatment for the aggravation of that pre-existing injury. Aggravation of a pre-existing repetitive use injury would also be covered by workers’ compensation provided that the employment-related hazard aggravated the pre-existing disability to a degree that required medical treatment which wasn’t previously needed.
Insurance companies will try to use pre-existing injuries against employees and often deny these claims. If a claim of this nature is denied, the injured worker has the option of filing an Application for Hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Under such circumstances, an individual should strongly consider hiring an attorney—not only because there are rules and deadlines that must be met, but also because the insurance company’s defense attorneys will be experienced and skilled at finding ways to deny claims.
For more information on Proving Work-Related Repetitive Use Injuries, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 420-8080 today.
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