Monday, March 30, 2009

Consequential Injuries and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation

In Minnesota, subsequent injuries or disabilities that occur as a direct and natural consequence of a previous compensable injury are also compensable. Unfortunately insurance companies often attempt to deny responsibility for these consequential injuries.

Common types of consequential injuries involve aggravations that are due in part, to an employee’s existing work-related condition. For example, if an employee suffers a permanent back injury, later aggravations of that injury are often consequential injuries, and should be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Even aggravations that occur outside of work, so long as they resulted from normal activity reasonable under the circumstances, are usually considered to be consequential injuries.

Other common types of consequential injuries include:
  • Depression as the result of an employee’s injuries
  • Medical side-effects from or reactions to medications
  • Injuries sustained during physical therapy (you’d be surprised how often people are injured during physical therapy)
  • Injuries or medical conditions caused by orthotics or prosthetics
  • Injuries caused by crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, or canes
  • Overuse injuries to a non-dominant hand or arm, when the original injury to the opposite hand or arm forced the employee to use the other hand more
  • Injuries to the knee or leg, when the original injury to the opposite knee or leg caused the employee to develop an unnatural gait
  • Bedsores from hospitalizations
  • Chemical dependence on prescription pain killers
  • Medical malpractice in the course of treatment for a work injury
  • Arthritis due to an old injury
  • Disc degeneration as the result of an old back injury
  • Disc injuries above or below a fusion
  • Infection following surgery or an injury
Certain other types of injuries may be deemed to be consequential injuries, even though there is no medical connection between the new injury and the old injury. These types of cases involve activities undertaken by the employee, following an injury, which, although they take place outside the time and space limits of the employment, are still considered related to the employment because they would not have been undertaken but for the original injury. The most common example of this type of injury is a car accident sustained while traveling to or from a doctor’s office for treatment of a work injury.

If you have sustained an injury at work, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help make sure you get all the benefits you are entitled to today. Call Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email to schedule a free consultation.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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