Usually, if you suffer an injury at work, it’s pretty easy to trace it back and find the exact cause. For example, if you fall, it can cause twisted ligaments or tendons, broken bones, or scrapes. However, there are situations where an employee may suffer an actual injury, but the cause of this injury is too difficult to determine.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may feel overwhelmed trying to convince your employer that you were actually injured on the job. While this is true, you still have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits any time, regardless of the cause, you are injured on the job. In many cases, hiring an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney is a smart move.
In a traditional workers’ compensation case where it is easy to determine the cause, the injured individual will file the proper paperwork and undergo a medical evaluation to determine the harm that has occurred and what treatment is best. If the individual had a preexisting condition that could have contributed to the injury, then they are required to prove that the accident that occurred at work was the “major contributing cause” of the harm that they experienced. If they are unable to do this, then the employer is going to automatically assume it was the preexisting condition that resulted in the pain, which will allow them to withhold benefits.
In situations where idiopathic injuries (that is an injury where the cause of it was unknown or “peculiar) occur, the process works in a similar fashion, but in a manner that is much more definite. If there are no preexisting conditions present, the injury is going to be compensable just like any other work injury. However, if the injured individual has a preexisting condition, and they have suffered an idiopathic injury, then the preexisting condition will be the assumed cause of the injury unless the employee is able to establish that their job created the hazard of the risk. In this situation, the burden of proof is much higher than with injuries where the cause is clear.
It is important to understand that if there is no preexisting condition present, the injured individual doesn’t have to provide any proof regarding how the injury occurred or the actual nature of the harm – only that they cannot handle their job duties. At this point, employers are required to comply with the terms set by the workers’ compensation system.
In some extreme situations, employers may try to terminate the employee or subject the individual to other negative actions because you filed the claim for workers compensation when it was not deserved. If you believe you have been a victim of retaliation, you can file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have suffered an injury while on the job, but the exact cause is unknown, it’s best to hire legal representation to help you recover the benefits you are owed. To learn more, contact Felice and Ehrlich Attorneys at Law by calling (561) 444-8822.
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It was a pleasure working with all of FELICE / EHRLICH handling my case. I want to thank everyone for their professionalism and courtesy and honesty in dealing with all of the obstructions and uncertainties. I especially want to thank Ken. In the beginning, I was told he was the best and that is a fact. Thank you, Ken. I also want to thank Janie for guiding and directing and making me feel comfortable through the process. Thank you all it was a pleasure working with you. Mr Hall
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