In workers compensation cases, often an injured worker cannot recall the exact date of a back injury or he may not be sure if his back injury is work-related. Neither of these things is necessarily fatal to a workers compensation claim.
First, not knowing the exact date of injury does not lend credibility to a case, but it may be understandable. At McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we have experience combing through medical records and employment files in order to determine a date of injury. It is not unusual for a good employee to try working through an injury, not report it immediately to the employer and not go to the doctor right away. Undoubtedly, it is better for a worker’s compensation claim if an injury is reported immediatley and medical treatment is obtained directly. However, we understand the realities of personal situations and can often make do with what we have under the circumstances. Just because an injured worker cannot recall the exact date of injury, it is no reason not to contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to discuss a potential claim for worker’s compensation benefits.
Secondly, if an injured worker is unsure if a nagging back or neck injury is work-related, or caused by his employment, he or she should still speak with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney. Here’s why. Oftentimes, employees and even their treating doctor are not aware of the causal connection between an injured worker’s job duties and his back injury or condition. It may help prove the case, but the law does not require that the injured worker himself/herself be able to connect the dots between his job and his injury. Especially when there is no obvious date of injury, but the back or neck just kept getting worse over time, it may take an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to ask the doctor the right questions. Doctor’s are not attorneys, and the doctor may not have all the information he or she needs in order to render an informed opionion on causation. It is an experienced worker’s compensation attorney who can amass the relevant information, provide it to the doctor and ask the precise questions necessary to prove a case. At times, it is necessary for the attorney to retain an independent physician in a certain specialty to review records, examine the injured worker, and then render written opinions answering whether the neck or back injury is caused by an employee’s job duties over time.
If an injured worker is unsure if he or she has a case, its a free call to an experienced workers compensation attorney to find out more information.