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Secondary Injuries in Workers Comp Cases: What You Need to Know

secondary injuries qualify for workers comp

Sometimes, treatment for workers comp injuries goes wrong causing supplementary injuries. These are called secondary injuries and they are covered by workers comp. However, you will need an experienced Beaufort workers comp lawyer to protect your rights. Insurers are very quick to deny damages for secondary injuries in workers comp claims.

Let us explain everything you need to know in order to maximize your chances of getting benefits for secondary injuries after a workplace accident.

How Secondary Injuries Happen in a Workers Compensation Case

Let’s imagine that you suffered a severe injury at work and you need surgery. There are complications resulting in infection and the need for more treatment to heal. Or your workers comp doctor prescribes a medication that causes severe side effects.

These are examples of secondary injuries in workers comp cases. Other frequently encountered situations include:

  • Injuries during physical therapy sessions
  • Chronic pain from incompletely healed injuries
  • You develop dependency on prescription pain medication
  • The accident was so horrific that you develop panic disorder
  • Loss of function or sensation in a body part after treatment

How Does Workers Comp Work for This Type of Injuries?

The most important thing to remember is that, as they stem from a workplace accident, secondary injuries are covered by workers comp. There is even a special fund set up by the South Carolina government to assist employers with the payment of benefits for these injuries.

However, you must be able to prove that the new injuries you suffered are directly related to the initial workplace injury.

Types of Secondary Injuries that Are Admissible in Workers Comp Cases

First of all, your injury must stem directly from the initial work injury. For example, if you fell from a height and broke a leg and then diagnostic tests show that you also have knee bursitis, this does not qualify as a secondary injury.

Secondly, the injury must not be caused by your failure to follow the doctor’s orders, for example, taking too many prescription pills or doing exercises that are actually contraindicated for your type of injury.

Last but not least, secondary injuries tend to appear shortly after the initial injury. If you notice the new injury months later after the workplace accident, it may not qualify for workers comp benefits.

workplace injuries can result in complications

How to Prove Your Secondary Injuries in Your Workers Comp Claim

If you suspect that you have developed a secondary injury after a workplace accident, you should consult with an experienced Beaufort workers comp lawyer. The attorney will advise you to make sure that your injury is properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.

Time is of the essence in these cases, so you will need a solid paper trail of medical records. In addition, your attorney will also:

  • Talk to your doctor to understand how the new injury occurred
  • Hire expert witnesses to testify that your type of secondary injury is a likely consequence of your primary injury
  • Discuss with rehabilitation specialists about your chances of making a full recovery and returning to work

Tips to Maximize Your Chances to Obtain Workers Comp Benefits

Workers comp insurers are quick in dismissing claims involving secondary injuries by stating that they are not related to your initial workplace accident. You need to make sure that your actions do not give them further ammo against you.

To make your case stronger, follow these steps:

  • Report any kind of pain, discomfort or side effects to your workers comp doctor
  • Get diagnosed as soon as possible
  • Make sure that you followed the doctor’s instructions to the letter
  • Do not see your own doctor or another specialist without the workers comp insurer’s approval
  • Do not use alternative treatments that are not recognized by healthcare authorities

Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Beaufort Workers Comp Lawyer!

If you suspect that you suffered secondary injuries after a workplace accident, act quickly. Notify your workers comp doctor and discuss the new complication in your claim with an experienced Beaufort workers comp lawyer at McDougall Law Firm.

We have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies and obtaining settlements that will cover your medical care costs and fair wage replacement.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case evaluation, so call us at 843-920-5705!