“Compensable Consequence.” Do you often hear this term but don’t know what it means? You have come to the right place.
In this post, we are going to shed light on the compensable consequence and what you can do to protect yourself when additional body parts become painful after the initial injury.
Let’s first start with the correct definition of compensable consequence.
A compensable consequence refers to a health problem that any employee develops directly due to a workplace illness or a workplace injury. Generally under California workers compensation law, employees can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for specific injuries in a one-time incident and cumulative injuries, which occur due to trauma or repeated stress.
In numerous cases, these injuries make an employee vulnerable to other medical complications and additional injuries due to overcompensation and altered mechanics of the body. As per California’s workers’ compensation laws, any new health problem that arises due to a workplace injury or illness falls under the category of compensable consequence.
The state’s Labor Code does not define any parameters for compensable consequence. However, we can find its definition in case law.
According to case law definition, a compensable consequence, it is a secondary incident, which is not a new and independent injury but a natural and direct consequence of the primary incident. The critical thing about compensable consequence claims is that these new problems must directly relate to the initial workplace illness or injury or can be caused by the initial work injury.
In case of an independent injury, the workers’ compensation does not consider it a compensable condition.
What Type of Injuries Can You Suffer?
In several cases, the consequence is more devastating than the initial injury. These injuries involve physical injuries as well as emotional effects and consequences such as depression or aggravation of preexisting conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. If you do not know whether you are suffering from a direct injury or have a compensable consequence, here are a few examples to help you find out.
Carpal tunnel syndrome in one hand, leading to overuse syndrome in the other
Nerve damage, resulted due to surgery, for repairing a workplace injury
A fall because of work-damaged knee buckles or tripping from use of crutches
Addiction to pills or painkillers due to a work-related back injury
Clinical depression due to a work-related shoulder injury
An injury in an automobile crash en route to physical therapy for a work-related injury
Know the Difference between Direct Injury and Compensable Consequence
Many employees come across the term ‘direct injury’ when their request for workers’ compensation gets denied. Understanding both compensable consequence and direct injury is essential to know whether you get benefits for compensable consequence.
By direct injury, we refer to any incident in which the cause of injury was ‘direct’, and there is no dispute. For example, you worked for a construction company and got injured from a faulty forklift; this type of injury would come under direct injury.
How can You File for Compensable Consequence?
Since employers and their insurers repeatedly deny compensable consequence claims, workers must find help with a professional attorney who can represent their case. The evidence to prove a compensable consequence is complex and fraught with challenges. Injured workers without help will likely find it difficult to prove that additional body parts are directly caused by the original injury without help. The line between a direct injury and a compensable consequence is blurry. That’s when work comp insurance companies and employers try preventing injured employees from getting the compensation they deserve by proving that their injuries are ‘direct’ and not an outcome of the initial injury.
Contact WCWCA – West Coast Workers Comp Attorney
If you are looking for a trusted and professional legal attorney to help you file a claim for a compensable consequence, get in touch with West Coast Workers Comp Attorney. This professional law practice strives to give all clients the best services by guiding them on how to take care of their rights and interests. We keep you involved in every step of the process and help you make important decisions so you can protect your rights in the best way possible.