Posted by Gary Burger on March 28, 2017 in Workers' Compensation
What do you do if you have more than one on-the-job injury in a workers compensation claim? So, we know, and I’m often asked that question, so we know that if you’re injured, you do a report of injury, you tell your employer, and then you go get your medical care, but sometimes you may have more than one injury. Don’t think just because you have a later injury — even if it’s the same part of the body — that you don’t report that. Folks often have multiple injuries to the part of the body. We represent a gentleman right now. We won’t tell you his profession who has had multiple head trauma because of his line of work. I have other folks, construction workers and other more heavy labor, mostly men, who have multiple injuries either to their neck or their shoulder or their back from lifting.
Make a report of injury for each one of those instances, the date, the time. Tell your employer. Keep a note to yourself, and then when you come to us later, if you’d like our representation for your workers compensation claim, we file separate claims for compensation for each one of those injuries. We’ll have one, two, three, four claims, so we know each of those instances and there’s a claim for each one because — we have this right now in a case — your employer may have different insurance companies for different injuries. They may have — we have this a couple of times now — the medical care for one, may go with one insurance company, may not go to another, and the other one may go to another insurance company.
Sometimes, employers have different entities that you work through, so you may be covered under Corporation A for this one and Corporation B for this one. Some are not like that. Some, they may have insurance, they may not. Sometimes employers let their insurance lapse and there may not be coverage for another one. And when folks have multiple injuries the same parts of their bodies, sometimes it’s difficult to parse out what damages were caused by what falls, so it’s important to keep track of that too, but what we do is we file all these claims together and the employer could come back and say, “Well, you don’t know whether it was Injury One or Injury Three or Seven that caused this,” and we say, “We don’t really need to because all these claims are in one case. We’re trying them all together regardless of which one did that, which one caused the need for the back surgery.” Now, one of them did, and that needs to be compensated and the employer needs to authorize that care.
So, if you’re injured multiple times, file multiple injury reports. You’re not a whiner. You’re not over-complaining. You’re protecting your rights down the road.