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Arthritis & Degeneration vs. Work Injury- Maryland Work Comp Attorney

I had no prior complaints but workers comp is saying my problems are due to arthritis and degeneration.  How can this be?

For a free consultation with Workers Compensation Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call +1 (410) 937-1659     OR         Email

On a regular basis workers compensation insurers are using the argument that those injured at work are having the issues they are because of arthritis or degeneration that was already present at the time of the work place accident.  Injured Maryland workers should be aware of this strategy and prepare for argument.  A Maryland workers compensation attorney can help the injured worker avoid being denied medical treatment because of this overused defense of a “pre-existing” condition.

How can Md. workers comp say my problems come from arthritis when I had no prior complaints?

Workers comp will come up with any argument possible to prevent the injured worker from seeking out and obtaining continuing medical treatment.  Most often when it is a question of medical treatment it will be argued that arthritis is causing the Maryland injured workers physical complaints.  From the very beginning of the claim the adjusters may review the medical records looking for mention of previous problems with the injured body part.  Often, a single complaint from many years prior to the accident can lead Md. workers comp to start denying treatment.  

In an effort to bolster their argument the adjuster will schedule an independent medical evaluation (IME) with a doctor of their choosing.  The IME doctor may review prior medical records, mention findings in their report, and subsequently issue an expert opinion indicating that the need for treatment is not causally related to the work accident.

When the IME report is issued treatment authorization may come to a complete halt leaving the injured worker confused and upset.  The injured Maryland worker will be certain they had no problems with the injured body part prior to the accident.  In fact they may have been performing their job duties with no complaints and high productivity.  

The need for medical treatment and how the diagnostics relate to that need is a complex medical question for an expert in the field of medicine.  However this often seems contradictory to the common sense view that if there was no pain before the accident, and pain after the accident, the need for the medical treatment must be related to the accident. 

Is the arthritis and degeneration argument effective in denying the injured worker treatment?

Unfortunately, those injured on the job in Maryland are susceptible to the arthritis and degeneration argument and do occasionally lose the right to medical treatment because of pre-existing conditions.  And, unfortunately most people have some degree of arthritis or degeneration in their joints.  Whether or not the presence of arthritis will be a determining factor depend on a number of factors.  If there is a diagnostic image performed that shows findings in addition to arthritis then the chances of the insurance company prevailing with their argument are diminished.  An MRI that reveals arthritis, but also ligament tears or fractured bones will bolster the injured Maryland workers’ case.  Likewise, if there is a comparison diagnostic test that was performed prior to the workers compensation accident that show an absence of the injury then the case is bolstered.  Most importantly, if you the injured worker can testify that you did not have complaints prior to the accident then your case will be strengthened.

When the insurance company is arguing arthritis and degeneration it is time to contact an attorney.  Maryland Workers Compensation Attorneys always worker on a contingency basis meaning they do not get paid until they recover money for you. 

If there was prior medical treatment for the arthritis then the injured worker will have an uphill battle.  A prior surgery of over ten years old will not damage the case as much as a recent surgery to the affected body part.  The ultimate deciding factor will be the Workers Compensation Commissioner assigned to the hearing for the injured workers case.  Likewise, a Maryland workers compensation attorney that is qualified and experienced can help the hurt employee by making relevant and precise arguments at the time of the hearing.

For a free consultation with Workers Compensation Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call +1 (410) 937-1659     OR         Email