Today I want to tell you about a particular situation so that you can try to avoid it happening to you. A while back a lady came into our Belleville Workers Compensation Law Office for a shoulder injury. After i got her medical records and things, I realized that she had a real problem with her neck that she had been treating for for quite some time.
So i asked her about it and what she explained to me was that her job required a lot of lifting a lot of overhead lifting, a lot of twisting, a lot of looking up and a lot of things that she explained
to me made her neck pain a lot worse than what it had been. She explained to me that she would tell her employer when something hurt but she would also tell her employer that, well my back already hurt and my neck already hurt so she didn’t think there was any reason to pursue the the situation at all.
In reality probably what happened to this lady is after years of just telling the employer that this made my neck hurt today, or commenting that when she lifted this box and put it up on the shelf and her neck popped but it’s still her old problem that she’s had all along, she should have reported an injury.
Time Matters When Reporting A Workplace Injury
What happened because she didn’t report that injury is I, as her workers compensation attorney have no chance now of going back and making any sort of claim.
The point with all this is that a lot of people have previous back injuries or neck injuries or knee problems whatever the situation may be. And yes, people still are able to work with those injuries, but if you injure some part of your body even though you’ve had a prior injury or prior treatment on it if something at your job makes your situation worse, if some specific incident or some aspect of your job that you really think has caused you to need more significant treatment, as in this lady’s case, neck surgery, you need to make sure that you report those incidents.
An employer in the state of Illinois is still on the hook for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition so again if something happens to you and you think that it might still just be part of an old problem you’ve had for years. But then, if you find that it’s made your situation worse make sure that you report it.
Reporting is a critical element in this particular lady’s situation. She went for over two years telling her employer that she had a problem, but at the same time telling them to not worry about it. “It’s just my regular neck pain,” she said. That’s what she assumed.
She was wrong. She had ended up herniating a disc in her neck probably from one of those events that happened at work and she had to have surgery. But there was nothing I nor any other lawyer could do because she didn’t ever go to the doctor. She never even reported that she hurt her neck at work. She never told her employer to turn in an accident report and never tried to herself turn in an accident report because she thought that it was just the same problem she had always had.
This lady probably will never be able to go back to work again and i’m positive that if i had been involved in the case in the very beginning she would have properly reported it and we might have had a chance of making a workers compensation claim out of it so that at least she would have some ability to have some sort of financial recovery for it. She might have gotten help her get the right treatment in the future. She might have received help her with her financial crisis that she’s in right now.
As it stands there’s nothing I nor any other lawyer can do for her.
I encourage you if you have any questions at all give me a call I’ll be happy to answer whatever questions in the hope that you can do the right thing in case you need to hire a lawyer down
the road. If you don’t need to hire a lawyer I’ll tell you. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions about what to do in this situation.
Belleville, IL Injury Lawyer, Eric Kirkpatrick, explains what happens if you re-injure yourself at work but are re-activating a previous injury whether it happened at work or whether it was a pre-existing condition. It is always important to report each and every injury that occurs at work in the proper manner regardless of how serious it seems, whether you think it might have originated in a non-work situation or even if it is a re-activation of a previous injury caused at work. If you’ve been hurt at work in the St Louis area, call Kirkpatrick Injury Law Offices at: (618) 239-6070
Kirkpatrick Law Offices
3 Executive Woods Ct,
Swansea, IL 62226
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Areas of Practice
The Kirkpatrick Law Office proudly serves clients as a personal injury lawyer in St Clair County, Illinois and a personal injury lawyer, coal mine injury attorney, industrial accident lawyer, workers compensation and construction accident lawyer in Belleville, Illinois and other areas of Southern Illinois including but not limited to Carbondale, IL, Goreville, IL, De Soto, IL, Murphrysboro, IL, Freeburg, IL, Coulterville, IL, Hecker, IL, Waterloo, IL, Sparta, IL, St. Clair County, IL, Madison County, IL, Johnson County, IL, Randolph County, IL, Clinton County, IL and other Southern Illinois locations.
We typically assist injured workers and people with neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, people requiring back surgery, coal mine injuries, union worker injuries, iron worker injuries, boilermaker, pipefitter and laborer injuries, those hurt as a result of construction accidents, road construction, semi-truck accidents, cell phone drivers, discrimination, warehouse injuries. We also help people hurt in nursing home injuries while lifting patients in nursing homes or other medical facilities.