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What's a consequential injury?

Workers' compensation is not meant to be difficult. The premise is simple. A worker, government or private, hurt on the job, is entitled to the medical treatment and time needed to make as full a recovery as possible. You would think that denials would be few and far between, but they are common.

Appeals of denials are often needed and obtaining the best outcome of your case typically centers on providing incontrovertible evidence regarding how a workplace accident happened and why your doctor is calling for specific treatment. Knowing what evidence is called for and how to best present it is something that comes with experience – the kind developed by attorneys through practice.

But, what if you sustain a non-work injury later that can be traced back to a previous work-related injury or illness for which you received workers' compensation? Are you entitled to seek to extend benefits under the existing claim? The answer in many cases is yes, but often such requests are denied. An appeal becomes necessary.

In the workers' compensation world, such injuries are called consequential. One documented case provides Office of Workers Compensation Program claim examiners with the standards to make the call whether you have suffered a consequential injury. The general rule is that if a condition is established as having been work related and it later contributes to a situation resulting in a new injury or reinjury, compensation is due.

To be sure you understand your rights and all the possible benefits available to you, having an experienced advocate at your side helps.

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