Posted Aug 2017
It seems simple, right? You get hurt at work, you tell you your employer, you go to the doctor, and you have a claim. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Even for seemingly straight-forward accidental injuries, and even less so for injuries that develop over time.
It is extremely important that upon first visit to a medical provider you give a detailed description of the accident. Be sure the medical provider documents the details of the injury, including your usual work activity, what you were doing when the injury occurred, who was working with you or witnessed the injury, and all body sites that were affected. Far too often we see claims denied because the medical evidence is insufficient to establish a claim.
Details are even more important for occupationally developed claims, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries that develop over time, or the like (Work Related Condition That is Not the Result of an Accident). We have been seeing far too many denials by the Workers’ Compensation Board for carpal tunnel syndrome claims because the initial medical evidence is insufficient.
It is not enough for a doctor to simply state, for example, “patient is a secretary who does repetitive work on a computer” or “patient is a nurse who works with patients all day.” When you see a doctor for the first time for a condition or injury that you believe developed as a result of your work activity, the doctor must put in writing in his or her initial report a detailed description of your job and your work duties, including, but not limited to the following:
• how long (in quantity, hours and/or minutes) you participate in particular activities (i.e., typing for 4 hours per day, using a mouse for 1 hour per day, completing data sheets for 1 hour 30 minutes per day, assisting patients in and out of bed 10-15 times per day, lifting parts from a conveyor belt every 2-3 minutes for 6 hours per day, lifting usually 1,000 pieces weighing 5 pounds, etc.)
• how long you have been working in this position, performing these duties (i.e., been a medical secretary performing these duties for 5 years, been a patient care technician performing these activities 5 days a week for 10 years, worked in this manufacturing facility on assembly line for 8 years, etc.)
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the particulars of your situation further. Feel free to contact Zea Proukou about your work injury claim!