There aren’t a lot of defenses in worker’s compensation cases, and that is how the system is designed – if you get hurt on the job, you get your benefits.
But there is one key issue that stands between what happened to you on the job and getting the benefits you need to keep food on the table and get the medical care you need to get back to work.
That is the issue of causation – meaning that you have to show that the accident at work caused your injury. If there is no causal connection between your medical issues and your job, the company does not have to pay you any benefits at all – no disability checks while you are off, no medical care.
It is a make or break issue in every worker’s compensation case. A showing of “no causation” is the get-out-of-jail-free card for the company.
There are certainly plenty of cases where the issue of causation is not going to be a serious issue, for example if you fell off a trailer and broke your wrist. But there are plenty of kinds of cases where the issue of causation will be disputed – neck and back injuries, torn cartilage in your knees, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here is the kicker – a determination that there is no causal connection is made based on the medical records, and usually with the help of a medical “expert” hand-picked by the insurance company. Unless you know what is in your medical records and can argue about the significance of what is in there, you are fighting a battle you are likely not equipped to win.
When causation is being disputed it becomes a justification for cutting off all of your benefits – whether you are working or not. The are procedures available for getting them reinstated, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and when you are not getting anything, the wolf arrives at the door very quickly.
Bottom line: if you start to hear that there are questions about whether your medical issues are related to or were caused your worker, the time has come to get well-qualified legal help
If you have a current worker’s compensation issue which you need help on, please feel free to reach out to our office by calling us at 312-263-1080 to discuss your issues and what options you have. There is no obligation to hire our law firm, and there is no charge for the call.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you know anyone who can benefit from this kind of information, please feel free to share this.
We are here to help truck drivers after an on-the-job accident. Knowledge is power, and the first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are.