There are several different types of injuries that may occur when a person is involved in an accident at work, in the car, or virtually anywhere else. One of the most confusing and frightening is what is referred to as an idiopathic injury.
If something is referred to as idiopathic, it means there is no identifiable cause for its occurrence – that it just “happened” – and that it may be especially challenging to treat. In some situations, these issues can occur on the job, and it is important to understand how your workers’ compensation claim for idiopathic injuries may fare.
In most cases, Florida workers’ compensation law states that if you suffer an injury while you are on the worksite, or while you are acting within the scope of your job and performing work for your job (at the direction of your manager or employer or to help further an interest they have), the injury is compensable according to workers’ compensation. You will give up the right you have to sue your employer to receive benefits from their workers’ compensation policy. However, this only occurs if the injury is related to your job in some way.
It may seem somewhat odd that medical science is unable to explain some events; however, this is the case – there are some situations when body parts no longer work and when some bones just give out. If this occurs while you are on the clock, it’s often difficult to figure out if the injury is related to work. This is the case because even though idiopathic injuries are determined to be personal in nature, they may be ruled as compensable; however, this depends on how they occur, even if the way is unknown or uncertain.
In most cases, if it is possible to draw a casual link between the requirements of your job and the injury, the injury is going to be covered by workers’ compensation. However, when an idiopathic injury is involved, the casual link may be too difficult to determine. This can result in other factors having to be assessed by your employer along with their insurer to determine if the injuries are still considered compensable. This is crucial, because in many cases, an insurer may try to make the argument that the injury is idiopathic to try to get out of paying – without a specific, set cause for an injury, they may make the argument that there’s no way to prove the harm you experienced was related to the work you do.
According to Florida law, a casual connection between an accident and the injuries that “are not readily observable” must be by “medical evidence only.” This is an extremely specific standard that your case has to meet, and, in some situations, this is something that may not be possible. However, in some situations, you may be able to prove the injury you suffered was related to some aspect of the job using the process of elimination.
For example, if you were to faint and injure yourself during fall while at work, but can prove that you have never fainted when you were off-premises, it can ten be inferred that there is some factor within your workplace that could have contributed to the injury you suffered.
Sudden injuries or accidents can be extremely frightening, especially when there is no obvious cause. However, this doesn’t mean you are completely responsible for your medical costs while you are recovering. Our team can help. To learn more, contact our legal team at Felice & Ehrlich by calling (561) 444-8822.
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