Most injuries are straight forward. You injure that body part, it gets treatment, you get better and you move on with your life. Fortunately most of the cases we see follow that pattern.
In some cases though, something that is unexpected, at least to the injured worker, happens.
Case in point, a recent caller to my office injured his right elbow and hand on the job and had a surgery on each of them. His job required a lot of repetitive movement with just that arm and his left arm had mostly a supporting role.
What ended up happening was that after the surgery he over-used his left hand and arm and now is experiencing left hand pain. His doctor suspects that he has carpal tunnel syndrome.
The insurance company, as you can imagine, is fighting this because he didn’t hurt his left hand while working. In fact, he hasn’t worked for the last four months.
But if the doctor says that the left hand is hurt from over-use due to not being able to use the right hand/arm, then we should be able to win him benefits.
This type of problem happens more than you’d think. One common way is after someone hurts their leg and is on crutches. It’s not uncommon for them to then develop an elbow problem, especially if they have to hop around for long stretches.
So you don’t have to get hurt at work to have a work related injury, as long as the problem stems back to an originally work related injury.
Like anything else, don’t listen to the insurance company when they tell you that you have no case. They are motivated to deny you. It can be frustrating, but that’s what they are trying to do. Speak with a lawyer who will give you an honest opinion and find out what your rights are. That doesn’t mean you have to hire an attorney, but it does mean you will be making an educated decision.