They say my Work Injury is Due to Arthritis. Now what?

May 25, 2023 | Red Flags, Mistakes & Myths

I didn’t have problems until my work injury – now the Doctor is blaming arthritis for my problems…what are my options?

They say my work injury is due to arthritis. Now what? – After a work injury, the doctor might say that you’ve got arthritis and it’s long-standing, and therefore it isn’t a work injury. So, they might tell you that they won’t give you wage loss benefits or provide any medical care.

Am I really not covered if I have arthritis?

It’s probably true that you have arthritis, and it’s probably true that the injury didn’t cause your arthritis. However, if a work injury aggravated or accelerated your arthritis, then it’s covered under Workers’ Compensation.

The problem is that a lot of training doctors don’t understand what an aggravation is; they think there has to be a visible object of change, so they might say your work injury is due to arthritis. If there isn’t one, then it doesn’t qualify as an aggravation, but that’s wrong; the law is different.

I didn’t even know I had arthritis until my work injury happened; what can I do?

If, for example, you’re doing heavy work, and you’re going to the doctor for other conditions like a sprained elbow or sleep apnea, and you’re not complaining about your low back even though it has arthritis, maybe you don’t even know it has it. That’s excellent evidence that the work injury aggravated your underlying condition of arthritis, so your treatment and wage loss should be covered.

If you’re not hurting, you’re not missing work; you don’t need medication; you’re not going to a doctor. They would never do any of the X-rays or MRIs to be able to discover that underlying condition, and it’s not just arthritis, but that’s the most common.

They might tell you that, for example, you have arthritis in both knees, elbows, or back, but the important question is, why didn’t it hurt, and why didn’t you need medical care the day before your injury?

If they’re telling you that your work injury didn’t cause arthritis and, therefore, you’re not covered, and you need to go to your own doctor and come back when you’re able to work, you should call an attorney.

We’re here to help

If you or your loved ones have been injured on the job in Colorado, we can help you. Call or text us at 970-356-9898; all of our consultations are free and confidential.

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