I have suffered a flare-up of an existing injury whilst at work- do I have any legal remedies?
Many ask whether they have an entitlement to claim workers compensation benefits if they suffer an aggravation or a flare-up of an existing injury.
A number of issues arise. Firstly, consideration must be given as to whether the original injury was work related and therefore the proper subject of a claim for workers compensation benefits. If so, and then there is subsequently an aggravation or flare-up of that injury, a question arises as to whether the aggravation or flare-up is simply a consequence of the original injury or alternatively has been caused or substantially contributed to by any subsequent act or conduct. The question that needs to be decided is whether or not there has been an intervening event that breaks the chain of causation with the original injury. If not, and the aggravation or flareup is directly related to the original compensable injury or arises as a result of other compensable circumstances, then the worker is perfectly entitled to recover benefits as a consequence of that aggravation or flare-patient up.
This applies also if the aggravation occurs with a different employer. For example, in those circumstances, the worker would need to establish whether the aggravation or flare-up is simply a condition arising from the original injury or alternatively, has been brought about by the subsequent employment. If the former, then the claim for workers compensation benefits would be made as against the original employer. If however the subsequent employment is responsible for the aggravation or flare-up of the injury, then a claim can be legitimately made as against the subsequent employer.
As with all claims for workers compensation benefits the employee needs to establish that the original injury or indeed the aggravation or flare-up was as a result of or arose out of the employment. Once that causal connection has been established with the employment the worker is entitled to claim benefits.
Difficulties may arise however if the original injury was not work-related and the subject of a workers compensation claim yet there has been a subsequent aggravation or flare-up of that injury by reason of the worker’s employment. In those circumstances the worker would be entitled to claim benefits as against the employer for the consequences of the aggravation or flare-up if the worker can establish that the employment was a substantial contributing factor to the aggravation or flare-up. If so, the worker would be entitled to claim benefits which would include treatment expenses and weekly benefits of compensation for periods of absence from work which arise as a result of the aggravation or flare-up.
Brydens Lawyers has for over 40 years been successfully prosecuting thousands of workers compensation claims on behalf of injured workers and recovering for them their full entitlements. If you have been injured at work, then contact Brydens Lawyers today to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled. Brydens Lawyers – #WE DO workers compensation claims.