Illinois workers’ compensation insurance companies love to deny cases. They especially like to fight repetitive trauma claims without good reason. This is true because if you get hit by a forklift and break your leg, they can’t say it was due to a pre-existing condition (not that they wouldn’t try to find a reason to deny you anyway). On the other hand, if you say that using your hands and arms all day and doing heavy lifting caused an injury, they will say some other bogus reason is the true cause and deny your claim. Finding a hired gun doctor to say that isn’t that hard.
Usually when I see this type of denial in an Illinois work comp case it’s because the injured worker has another known risk factor. For example, if you claim you have carpal tunnel from work, but are also diabetic or pregnant, they’ll say either of those medically proven risk factors is the real cause. They’ll say this even if you type eight hours a day. It’s a b.s. denial, but one that is certainly possible.
Some denials are just preposterous though. A recent caller to my office with bilateral (both hands/arms) DeQuervain’s Tenoysnovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome developed that from doing heavy, repetitive labor all day. She moves boxes, opens boxes with her hands, forcefully has to assemble items, etc. The work comp insurance company asked her for a release for all of her medical records which she signed. Note, you do NOT have to allow them to access all of your medical records, just for care related to your injury or that body part.
The record search literally went back to her birth when she was born with a brachial plexus injury. That is a problem in the shoulder. In her case, it was treated and resolved and she hasn’t thought much about it for years. The insurance company claims that this birth injury is the reason she developed hand, wrist and arm problems more than 30 years later and denied her case.
This is of course ridiculous. It’s even dumber based on the fact that her brachial plexus injury was on one arm and she is experiencing problems with both arms/hands/wrists. It makes zero sense that a 30 year old problem on one side of the body would cause a problem on the other side.
How can an insurance company ignore such obvious facts and the type of work she’s been doing? Insurance companies aren’t moral or looking out for you. They are there to make money and they make money when they don’t pay out claims. I have no doubt that this case will turn around once a lawyer is involved, but it’s stupid that it even has to get to that point.
In the big picture, it’s really a warning for all injured workers. Insurance companies will play dirty. That’s how they inflate their bottom line. You should never be expecting the best from them, because sooner or later it will be clear that they are trying to worsen your situation at their benefit.
If you’d like to speak to an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney for free, call us any time at 888-705-1766. We cover all of Illinois.