We all remember the song we sang as children, “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone.” Even if the nomenclature for the body parts may be a little more advanced these days, truer words were never spoken. My experience with injured workers confirms this daily. An injured worker in Pennsylvania who is dealing with an ankle injury often suffers from knee pain or hip pain. An injured worker who has a bad wrist will often develop symptoms in the elbow or even the shoulder. Sometimes, a worker who has a seriously injured leg, can have issues with the non-injured leg from having to bear all the weight on the good leg for months.
The question I’m often asked, is whether an injured worker can obtain medical treatment for these symptoms that pop up well after the initial injury. In many cases, they can. Workers’ Compensation Judges recognize that parts of the body are connected and an issue in one part can lead to issues in other parts. Often times, the insurance company is not going to willingly amend your injury description and allow you to get more medical treatment for a body part that is not part of the accepted injury, but a workers’ compensation attorney can petition to a judge to get correct or expand the injury description. The key to all of this is whether your doctor believes the newer symptoms are related to the workers’ comp injury. In addition to allowing you to obtain additional medical treatment, an expansion of your injury may increase the value of your case if it makes it harder for the insurance company and your employer to offer you light duty work or find jobs through a labor market survey.
If you are having recent symptoms related to an old, accepted workers’ compensation injury, reach out today to find out if you can and should expand your injury description by talking to the experienced team of Harrisburg attorneys as Schmidt Kramer.