Can You Claim Workers’ Compensation for Medical Conditions Caused by Injuries?

Can You Claim Workers’ Compensation for Medical Conditions Caused by Injuries? Unfortunately, workers who develop certain medical conditions from their injuries cannot claim workers’ compensation specifically for those conditions. The reason for this is because the conditions themselves are simply complications that arise from the injuries. If you were to suffer a brain injury on the job, for example, and that brain injury affected your memory and left you unable to work, the memory loss is not a compensable injury.

But that does not mean you don’t have legal options. For example, you can still use your memory loss as proof of the effects of your brain injury. This is important because if your original injury heals but the secondary conditions continue (AKA, memory loss from brain trauma, paralysis from spinal cord injury,  or scarring or disfigurement from traumatic amputations or burn injuries), you may be entitled to additional long-term benefits or compensation under the Mississippi workers’ compensation program. conditions.

Eight secondary medical conditions that are caused by injuries

There are many medical conditions that are caused by injuries. In fact, many workers who are injured on the job develop secondary conditions from their initial injuries. Here are eight medical conditions that may emerge from your workplace injuries:

  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions: Frightening accidents and injuries can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. PTSD is defined as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event.” For instance, if someone is crushed by a machine at work, they may survive and eventually heal from their injuries, but they may have random flashbacks, moments where they feel like they are reliving the terrifying event, and even nightmares. This can severely affect a person’s mood and mental health. It is not unusual for individuals who have PTSD to also have anxiety and severe depression at the same time.
  2. Autonomic dysreflexia: Autonomic dysreflexia can occur when a person injures their spinal cord in the upper portion of their back. This is an extremely dangerous condition as it can cause your blood pressure to become very high while causing your heartbeats to be very low. As a result of this condition, individuals are prone to having seizures, heart attacks, and strokes.
  3. Memory loss: Memory loss is a common condition that emerges after a traumatic brain injury. Therefore, if a worker is struck in the head by a falling object or slips and falls, hitting their head on a hard object or surface, they may experience memory loss. This means that they cannot remember much and may have trouble memorizing information. Memory loss can be short or long-term, and it can be temporary or permanent.
  4. Infections: A person may suffer a deep laceration or burn at work. When this happens, the open wound or burn injury may develop an infection. This can cause the individual to become sick or develop a serious infection as bacteria and other foreign particles may enter the body.
  5. Incontinence: Spinal cord injuries can lead to bladder and bowel incontinence. This means that the individual who has a spinal cord injury may be unable to control their bladder, and they may have poor bowel function as well.
  6. Sepsis: When you develop an infection or sickness from work, it may eventually turn into sepsis. This is a very serious condition that needs to be treated right away, or it can cause organ failure or even death. Sepsis typically occurs because an individual did not receive the proper medical treatment or did not treat their infection quickly enough.
  7. Chronic pain: A person may have chronic pain if their pain is intense, excruciating, and lasts “beyond the usual recovery period.” Chronic pain can either come in random waves, or it can last continuously throughout the day and night. While some people may think that chronic pain isn’t serious, it can actually impact an individual’s ability to work, carry out their daily tasks, enjoy their normal activities, and more.
  8. Bone, joint, and muscle problems: When you become injured at work, there is a good chance that you may suffer from bone, joint, and muscle problems. This is commonly seen among individuals who are burned on the job. The burn victim will have severe scar tissue that affects their bones and joints because the skin that grows back becomes very tight over the muscles and tendons. As a result, they may be unable to move or use certain limbs or body parts the same way again.

Do I have other options to seek compensation for my injuries and conditions?

If you are unable to get workers’ compensation or need more money than what workers’ compensation offers you, you do have the option to file a third-party injury claim. This will allow you to seek compensation for losses that are typically not covered by workers’ compensation. For example, a third-party claim is essential to secure compensation for pain and suffering, mental trauma, loss of enjoyment in activities, or loss of quality of life. However, you must be able to prove that a third party was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries. While Mississippi does not require proof of negligence for workers’ compensation, it is a requirement for a third-party injury claim.

At Merkel & Cocke, PA, our attorneys know and understand how difficult and challenging workplace injuries can be. That is why we want you to be aware of the fact that you do not have to go through this alone. Our workers’ compensation lawyers work with a few of the best experts in our area, and we will gladly provide you with the support, compassion, guidance, and empathy that you need. If you have recently become injured on the job, please call our office or submit our contact form to receive free legal advice today. Our offices are located in various parts of Mississippi, including Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford.