Do you believe that the arthritis you’re battling is a result of the job you’ve been performing for years now? Do you feel that the medical bills are stacking up for an injury you had nothing to do with? If so, then you need to learn all you can about workers’ compensation claims and arthritis.
Doing so can help you receive benefits for your chronic pain. Rather than having to pay for the medical bills yourself, the expenses can be covered by workers’ compensation.
See below for an in-depth guide answering the question of “Is arthritis covered by workers’ comp?”
What is Workers’ Compensation?
When people think of work-related injuries, they typically think about sprained ankles, concussions, or slip and fall accidents. Not many people think about degenerative diseases or long-term disabilities that stem from the job they’ve had for a while.
Let’s dive into the purpose of workers’ compensation to see if you’re eligible for it.
Workers’ compensation is used to cover an injury or disease that can be traced back to the job you perform with your employer. This can either be through an accident or simply a long-time window of the same, repetitive motions.
To qualify for workers’ compensation, there are a few things that need to happen:
You must be an employee of the insured employer (subcontractors sometimes fit in this realm as well)
Your employer needs to have a workers’ compensation policy (employers are legally required to do so in most circumstances)
You need to file the workers’ compensation claim in an efficient time window
You will need to show the condition arises out of and in the course of your employment
The injury cannot be due to your own willful misconduct
An example of that last one would be if you are injured climbing the racks at your job, even though your employer has safety rules in their training that instructed you to use a ladder. In that scenario, the injury could have been prevented if you used the ladder as instructed.
Is Arthritis Covered By Workers’ Comp?
Most people don’t realize that arthritis is just a general term. There are many different types of arthritis, such as Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Gout, or Rheumatoid Arthritis, to name a few.
Many things could cause these types of arthritis. For example, research has shown that osteoporosis can be hereditary due to the “inherited bone development” that’s often linked to it.
That said, you shouldn’t just assume that’s the reason for your current chronic pain. In fact, your osteoporosis may have been caused by your job. If your job requires/required you to perform the same functions day in and day out, then the repetitive motion may have caused a degenerative disease to form.
So how can you pursue compensation for your arthritis? The first step is to reach out to a trusted workers’ compensation attorney. Tell them your story and listen to the advice that they give you along the way.
It’s going to take a lot of work to build evidence for your case and prove to the opposing insurance company that your arthritis was caused by repetitive functions at work. You’ll want an experienced lawyer by your side throughout that process.
Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Now that you’ve seen the connection between your arthritis and a potential workers’ compensation claim, let’s list out the benefits of hiring a lawyer for your case.
They’ll Take Over Communication
Trying to get compensation for arthritis (and other degenerative diseases) can be tricky. The insurance provider will turn their nose at you, denying your work was the main culprit of your injury.
In fact, providers won’t take you seriously until you hire a lawyer. When you do, your attorney will become the one to take over communications between your side and the employer/insurer.
This will help you focus on tending to your injuries. When something does come up, your attorney will update you and advise you on how they think you should proceed.
Proper Compensation Amount
Another tough component to this process is knowing the correct amount of compensation for your injury.
You shouldn’t just be thinking about the medical bills you’ve gathered, but the medical bills that will need to covered into the future.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you calculate the proper income and medical benefits, then help you build evidence to back the insurance company into a corner.
Don’t hire just any regular personal injury attorney for your situation. You need someone with specific experience in workers’ compensation claims.
More specifically, be sure to ask the lawyer if they have experience representing clients with arthritis symptoms. What is their win rate for getting compensation for degenerative diseases?
With an experienced attorney, you’ll have direction at every turn. They’ll know what evidence to start gathering, how the process will likely play out, and more. As a result, you will have more peace of mind, knowing that your lawyer has been in this situation before.
File Workers’ Compensation Claims for Your Arthritis Today
Now that you have seen how you can go about filing workers’ compensation claims and getting compensated for your degenerative condition, be sure to use this information wisely.
Take the time to read this article for a list of the top 9 most common on-the-job injuries and whether they qualify for workers’ compensation. To get started, please call us at 706-868-1090 and we will be happy to assist you further.