Fran came to us with a serious, disputed workers comp case. The legal deadline to file was fast approaching, as she attempted to handle the claim herself almost two years. A faithful employee, she didn’t want to file, but her injuries left her out of work and she became desperate when her employer wouldn’t help her.
Fran worked for a local manufacturer. Despite clear symptoms from her work injury – immediate intense pain in her low back that soon ran into her legs – her employer refused to give her workers comp medical treatment.
The employer deemed her injuries “preexisting.” We’re familiar with that. It’s a favorite defense term to deflect responsibility to pay benefits.
But we weren’t afraid of it, because we looked closer and proved it didn’t apply. We probed her old medical records and compared them to her current ones. While Fran had some back trouble over the years, none of it was this bad. Her regular doctor and the orthopedists she treated with for her work injuries confirmed this. In fact, 5 months after the work injury, she could not work at her old job.
We realized Fran had what we call an aggravation case: her doctors confirmed the work injury made her prior back and spinal arthritis worse.
Most important for Fran, workers comp covers the worsening if a work injury causes it. We developed the medical evidence to convince the insurance company of that.
We also had Fran evaluated by a vocational expert to see what jobs she could qualify for as a result of her injuries. That evaluation revealed she couldn’t earn close to what she did for her former employer.As the case drew close to a hearing date, we achieved a settlement for Fran’s goal of more financial security.