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Worker's Comp pre exsisting

ellroy2eellroy2 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I hurt my back over a month ago at work, which resulted in severe right leg pain. MRI shows a moderate bulge at L4/L5 with central annular tear and a broad based central disc protrusion.

Over a year ago, I originally hurt my back and had left leg pain for several months before going away. I started my current job in June and have been doing it without any problems up until this new issue a month ago. The job is labor intensive.

Well Worker's Comp indicated today that there was some concern found in my MRI report regarding the "degenerative disc changes" and the fact that I have a "congenitally moderate lumbar spinal canal." They are aware of my previous back problem and my caseworker said that they need to find out more from the Orthopedic specialist they sent me to as far as whether or not this current problem is due to my congenital issue or my previous back problem.

I may be getting ahead of the situtation, but I am assuming the worse. So has anyone ever gone through anything like this with Worker's Comp? It doesn't seem right that they could reject my claim because of a similar injury that has caused me no real problems since before I even took this job on. I suppose there is no denying that my naturally born narrow spinal canal my be contributing to my problem. Less available space means things get tighter quicker. But does that mean they can reject my claim? If I was born with one finger longer than normal and it gets cut off in a saw at work, will they say that if my finger was normal sized then it never would have happened? I guess that is how insurance companies work and I shouldn't be surprised.
I am new to the whole worker's comp thing, so would it be of any benefit to get a lawyer, assuming that they are going to try and reject my claim? thanks



  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Does your employer offer Short Term Disability and/or Long Term Disability? If so, and if WC denies any lost time, you can file for STD. And if WC denies medical coverage then your medical insurance would cover the treatment.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • NotGivingUpNNotGivingUp Posts: 33
    edited 06/14/2012 - 7:22 PM
    This is a long time after your initial post, but I thought I'd chime in for some information if anyone (or you) reads this again in the future.

    I've been advised that an injury that takes place on the job in the scope of employment is compensable, regardless of what was happening prior. If you have rheumatoid arthritis that is under control, and your job aggravates the crap out of it to the point you can't do your job anymore, it is technically compensable.

    I have degenerative disc issues (as do most people), I'm overweight, and I had some discs that may have been causing me some moderate to severe (at times) back pain over the last 10 years. HOWEVER, I did my job for months before the injury FINE...even better than my coworkers! I always worked overtime, and I was faster than anyone else.

    On that fateful day, I went to work just like any other day. I lifted and twisted just right and blew out a disc. A sequestered fragment lodged itself behind a nerve root. Now, I have nasty sciatica, numbness, and a foot drop that causes me to fall going up stairs and drag the ground, especially when I've walked for a little while already. I am just about totally disabled, now. I can hardly sit or stand...it doesn't matter, anymore.

    Work comp denied my claim. They've gained access to ALL of my chiropractic and medical records prior to this injury, now, which just chaps my behind. I can't work, though...and my familiy needs to eat! My lawyer says that degenerative changes are no reason to deny a client compensation. Even if my degenerative changes were worse than normal for my age, it doesn't matter, because this injury is new.

    If you have new symptoms related to the scope of your employment, your injury is new or an old one has been aggravated. You are likely entitled to compensation. However, cutting a finger off is a much clearer-cut case for work comp. You will probably need to get a lawyer if your case is this vague.
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