In the typical workers’ compensation situation, an employee suffers a work injury and there is no dispute that the injury occurred at work and is covered under workers’ compensation. However, disputes often arise when an injured employee claims that he or she has suffered a new injury as a direct result of the original work injury.
The original work injury will most likely be covered under Minnesota workers’ compensation; the dispute arises over whether the new “consequential injury” is also covered under workers’ compensation.
OUR WORK COMP LAWYERS RECENTLY HAD A CASE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE SUFFERED A TEAR TO THE RIGHT ROTATOR CUFF.
Workers’ compensation insurance covered the medical bills, surgery, and wage loss for that injury. However, as a result of the injury to his right arm, the injured employee began using his left arm more frequently. As a result, he suffered a consequential injury to his left arm and rotator cuff.
A dispute arose over whether the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should have to cover additional medical bills and wage loss for the consequential injury the left arm.
After hearing testimony and considering the evidence, our Minnesota workers comp lawyers convinced the Minnesota workers’ compensation judge held that this consequential injury to the left shoulder and arm was a compensable injury covered under workers’ compensation.
THE BASIC RULE IN MINNESOTA IS THAT NON-EMPLOYMENT AGGRAVATIONS OF A WORK INJURY THAT RESULTS FROM NORMAL AND REASONABLE ACTIVITIES IS COVERED UNDER WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE.
Another type of consequential injury can occur as a result of some nonmedical causal connection to the original compensable injury. These types of activities can take place outside the time and space of the employment but would not have been undertaken but for the compensable injury.
For example, injuries sustained while traveling to and from the doctor’s office for purposes of medical care related to a work injury is compensable. Injuries sustained while pursuing a workers’ compensation claim are not compensable.
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There are many other types of consequential injuries. If you have suffered a work injury and believe that as a result of that injury you have suffered a different injury, it is important to contact an experienced Minneapolis work comp attorney. The workers’ compensation insurance company will not usually voluntarily pay benefits for consequential injuries.