What happens when the same injury re-appears months or years after your recovery? Should you open a new workers’ compensation claim?
Dealing with a work-related injury is generally not a walk in the park. Any victim of a workplace accident can attest to this. You often have to endure physical, financial, and emotional difficulties before getting back on your feet. However, if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you are generally entitled to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
However, what happens when the same injury re-appears months or years after your recovery? Should you open a new workers’ compensation claim?
First, Let’s Define a Recurring Injury
In a nutshell, a recurring injury, also known as a repetitive or overuse injury, happens on the same body part it had previously affected. Common injuries may include stress fractures, sprains, strains, or tendinitis, with the most prone parts being shoulders, back, knees, necks, or ankles. While recurring injuries can happen to anyone, you are more likely to suffer them if your work involves repetitive motions such as lifting.
Why Do Recurring Injuries Happen in the First Place?
When you suffer an injury, your body requires sufficient recovery before it is ready to handle physical work again. Recurrent injuries occur when you overwork a previously injured body part before it’s optimally healed. A poor working posture exerts excess pressure on the previously injured parts and could also lead to recurrent injuries.
What Happens When You Have a Recurring Injury at Work?
The accident leading to the recurring injury should generally be treated separately from the previous one. With this in mind, you would typically file a new workers’ compensation claim for the recurring injury, even if it affects the same previous part.
However, it’s worth noting that the claim process won’t be as straightforward as it seems. There will likely be challenges. For instance, since the insurance company is a profit-making organization, they may try to lowball you or come up with ridiculous reasons to avoid paying compensation.
An experienced St. Louis workers comp attorney can help you immensely by helping you gather irrefutable evidence and prove your recurrent injury is new and should be dealt with separately. They can also negotiate with the insurer on your behalf to ensure you get the maximum compensation available.
St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney
If you are planning to file a work comp claim for a recurring injury, don’t go it alone. At The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we exclusively deal with workers’ comp cases and are here to help. We have over 25 years of experience helping injured Missouri workers. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.
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