When people suffer an injury, they quickly find out that the human body immediately compensates to continue working efficiently. Something as simple as limping on your right foot to account for a twisted left ankle can be defined as a compensation. Unfortunately, putting additional pressure on body parts to cover up an injury can ultimately lead to even more injuries.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) refers to these related injuries as “consequential injuries.” In other words, a chain of causation can be made from the original accepted occupational illness or injury to the new condition. If the consequential condition can be directly traced back to the accepted work injury using well-reasoned medical evidence, the worker could be entitled to additional compensation benefits.
It is important to remember that a consequential injury doesn’t always have to be simply an additional injury. Additional examples can include:
- A construction worker who suffers a deep laceration on the job. The cut is cleaned and bandaged but becomes infected weeks later requiring additional medical attention and time off work.
- A worker who struggles with depression, anxiety or another mental condition as a direct result of suffering a debilitating injury.
- A worker who suffers an adverse drug interaction based on the course of treatment they were prescribed.
These situations can be complex and unique requiring a thorough understanding of workers’ compensation law. The initial reaction might be to ask friends or family members for advice or search for guidance on the Internet. It is wise to seek legal guidance to ensure you receive the best advice and representation based on your unique injuries.