At our Kansas City workers compensation law firm, we often receive inquiries from injured workers who delay seeking legal advice when pursuing a workers compensation claim. The claimants will prepare their own initial paperwork and start medical treatment without seeking legal advice from an experienced Kansas workers compensation attorney. It is important that workers compensation claimants understand that insurance providers will use the full measure of their litigation resources to deny or reduce the recovery in a valid workers compensation claim. A recent case decided in favor of the employee demonstrates the risk of this approach.
The employee in the case went to court to challenge the employer’s refusal to cover the cost of a medical evaluation. While the employee who worked for the National Beef Packing Company complained of injury to his neck and shoulder, the employer disputed whether the neck injury was work-related. The employer declined to refer the employee for treatment for neck pain and referred the employee only for treatment of the shoulder injury. However, the employee obtained an evaluation from an independent medical provider whom confirmed the neck injury.
When the employee was subsequently involved in an automobile accident, the treating physician diagnosed the injury suffered in the car crash as a spinal compression fracture. There was no complaint from the employee that the collision aggravated the neck injury, and the physician indicated that the spinal injury would not have any connection to a neck injury.
The employer claimed that the neck injury was the result of the car accident rather than a work-related injuries, but the employee was awarded benefits for the neck injury. The employer’s attempt to avoid liability for the cost of the first medical evaluation was denied.
This provides an example of the lengths workers compensation carriers will go to when trying to reduce the level of benefits awarded. If this employee had simply accepted the employer’s evaluation and failed to obtain an independent medical evaluation, the employee may never have received appropriate benefits to cover his neck injuries. Kansas workers compensation lawyer Michael R. Lawless anticipates these types of tactics by workers compensation carriers and works aggressively to negate such strategies.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a work-related injury, experienced Kansas workers compensation lawyer Michael R. Lawless can help you pursue medical treatment, lost income and benefits for permanent disability. Our Lenexa, KS workers compensation law firm is dedicated to balancing the scales of justice so that you can obtain the compensation that you deserve. We invite you to call us toll free at 1-800-734-3771 or visit our website and submit a case inquiry form today.