When a client has an on the job accident, the original injury is generally covered by the workers compensation insurance company for medical treatment that is reasonable, related and by written referral. When the disabled worker sustains another injury during medical care, physical therapy or because they favor one leg or arm over the other, that is often called a "compensable consequence" or "aggravation by treatment." It is widely held that aggravation of the primary injury by medical or surgical treatment is compensable. This includes includes corrective or exploratory surgery.
At ABRAMS LANDAU, we have seen the following "compensable consequences" covered by Order of the Workers Compensation Commission:
1. Injured construction worker falls out of hospital bed, breaks hip,
2. Permanently impaired airline worker favors left leg because of right leg surgery, left leg gives out,
3. Injured laborer tripped up during occupational therapy, breaking arm,
4. Truck driver undergoes leg surgery only to wake up and find physician opened up the wrong leg.
These are only examples. There are many kinds of subsequent injuries and diseases that qualify as "compensable consequences." However, as with most on the job disability claims, there are strict time limits. So, if you have had a subsequent injury of "aggravation by treatment," you should consult with an experienced workplace injury lawyer at once. Delay can be fatal to these "secondary injury" cases.