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3 Things That Could Jeopardize Your Workers Comp

3 Things That Could Jeopardize Your Workers CompWorkers compensation seems like it should be a simple, straightforward proposition, especially if you go by the name alone. As a concept, workers compensation is all about making sure that a hardworking employee that is injured while on the job gets the financial support required for recovery, or, in the worst case scenario, gets permanent financial support should an injury be so serious it means working is no longer possible.

However, there’s often a big difference theory and application. And when it comes to your company and/or its insurance company properly financing you for an injury you sustained, there are a few things you can do that may negate a company’s obligations to provide that support.

Pre-Existing Conditions



If you already have some type of medical condition going into a job, in other words, a “pre-existing” condition, and the nature of the job makes that condition worse, this may disqualify you from workers comp. To any company, it would be extremely suspicious for a potential employee to knowingly take a job without notifying the employers of a condition that that specific job could worsen, only to turn around when this happens and apply for financial support.

Some companies may feel—and it’s not an unreasonable assumption—that you applied for the job and then deliberately failed to mention to this medical possibility, with the intent to get workers comp once the hidden medical condition worsened.

Unauthorized Diagnosis & Treatment



In most cases, an injury on the job will require validation from a recognized medical professional that is affiliated and trusted by the employer and/or the insurance company. One of the reasons for this is documentation and trust. The insurance company or employer has an established relationship with the medical professional in question, and if they are told from this source that an injury is legitimate and requires workers comp, they will comply with that diagnosis.

On the other hand, if you go to your own doctor who may not be recognized or affiliated with your company, and get a diagnosis that cites a need for workers comp, there’s room for doubt. People in the past have worked with unethical medical practitioners to produce false diagnoses and medical recommendations. If you actively avoid a diagnosis from your company’s approved doctor, you leave yourself open to the suspicion from your company that you are attempting to get a false diagnosis to cheat your way into workers compensation.

Unrelated Injuries



Workers compensation is all about giving support to people who receive their injuries at work. However, those injuries must actually be work related. So, for example, if, during lunch break, people relieve a little stress with a quick game of football, and you fall while playing and sustain a concussion that requires hospitalization and possible even serious medical treatment, it’s doubtful that workers comp will cover you in this case.

Had you actually been working, and a malfunction at the workplace, such as an industrial mishap befell you, while you were observing all work and safety regulations, that would clearly be a case where workers comp applied to you. But if you have any questions or are unsure about whether you are entitled to workers comp for your particular situation, it’s best to get an expert opinion and talk to a workers comp lawyer.