If you are injured, other areas of your body will have to endure more stress and strain as a direct consequence of the injury. If these other areas become injured or break down as a direct result of this added stress, it is classified as a consequential injury, and you can be compensated for these injuries if the original injury occurred while you were performing work duties. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at consequential work injuries and how to collect compensation for them in Minnesota.
Consequential Work Injury Compensation
In the vast majority of cases, a worker needs to be injured during work hours or while performing work-related duties in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, that is not the case when it comes to consequential injuries. The original injury will need to meet the standard for a compensable work injury, but any new injuries that are a direct consequence of that original injury, even if they develop outside of work hours, would be eligible for additional workers’ compensation payments.
The Minnesota Department of Labor classifies a consequential injury as the effects of an admitted workplace injury that causes, aggravates, or contributes to a condition, and the term came into the modern lexicon in the 1961 court case Eide v. Whirlpool Seeger Corp. In that case, the court ruled that additional medical care for new or aggravated injuries would be compensable if they developed as a natural consequence of the primary work injury, even if the aggravation or secondary injury onset occurred outside of work.
The biggest factor that you’ll need to work to prove is that your original work injury was a “substantial contributing factor” for the onset of your consequential injury, as that precedent was laid down by the Minnesota Workers Compensation Court of Appeals in a subsequent case. As you might imagine, what constitutes a substantial contributing factor is somewhat up for determination and will be decided on a case-by-case basis, which is why it is so important to have a lawyer by your side.
Some examples of consequential work injuries include things like:
- Bedsores that develop while recovering from a work injury
- Infections that develop after surgery to address a work injury
- Injuries while using assistive devices like walkers or wheelchairs
- Injuries that occur during physical therapy for a work injury
Workers’ compensation insurance companies will likely initially deny your claim if you attempt to file for consequential injury compensation. They will typically argue that other outside factors or natural wear and tear on your body played a bigger role in your new injury, but don’t be deterred by an initial denial. We expect pushback and know how to craft a clear and concise narrative that paints an obvious picture of how your secondary injuries were a direct consequence of your original work injury. If the insurance company still won’t see it your way, we’ll gladly present our argument to a judge so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
So if you have developed new pain or aggravated a previous underlying condition as a direct result of your body compensating for a work injury, know that you have compensation options even if this new pain didn’t develop on the job. These injuries are a direct consequence of your original work injury, making you eligible for additional compensation. Just know that it won’t be easy to get compensation, and your best bet is to have an experienced injury lawyer by your side for the entire process.
If you’d like to connect with an injury firm who has won numerous consequential injury cases in the past, or you’d just like to learn more and see if you might have a valid claim, reach out to the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.
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