What Came First: The Seizure or the Head Trauma?
Many disputes over workers’ compensation payments have to do with whether the work accident was the main contributing cause (MCC) to the worker’s injury and need for treatment. When you hear about this type of dispute, the first thing you imagine is probably a nonspecific complaint and a worker who had identifiable preexisting conditions. For example, the worker might have started suffering back pain after lifting a heavy item at work, but then the employer denied the claim because the worker had suffered intermittent back pain ever since she was in a car accident ten years ago. It probably does not surprise you that employers sometimes try to deny employees’ workers’ compensation claims even when the employer’s argument about the injuries having a non-work-related cause is flimsy. Just when you thought you had heard it all, an employee suffered a concussion after falling down at work, and the employer still tried to argue that the injury was not entirely work-related. If your employer insists, in defiance of all logic, that injuries resulting from an accident at your place of employment are not work-related, contact a South Florida workers’ compensation lawyer.
Is It a Work Injury When You Fall Down at Work and Hit Your Head?
In 2010, an electrician named Michael was using a saw to cut down shelving at a liquor store. He fell down, hit his head, and lost consciousness for a short period of time. He was taken to the emergency room, where doctors determined that he had suffered a seizure and a left temporal hemorrhage. When he tried to claim temporary total disability benefits, his employer denied the claim. The employer claimed that Michael suffered a seizure because of a pre-existing, possibly undiagnosed, seizure disorder. In other words, the seizure caused him to lose consciousness, which caused him to fall and hit his head.
An independent medical examiner, Dr. Goodman, determined that the fall and the resulting head trauma, was the cause of the left temporal hemorrhage. He could not determine whether Michael had lost consciousness before or after he fell. As often happens in cases of head trauma, Michael had no memory of the moments leading up to the accident. He remembered being at work that morning, but then he remembers nothing between then and when he was at the hospital. The only thing in Michael’s medical history that could count as a pre-existing condition was one incident in 2008, two years before the accident. In that incident, Michael fell down in the shower, lost consciousness for less than a minute, and was diagnosed with a concussion. Having a history of concussions makes people increasingly susceptible to recurrent concussions, but the appeals court decided that this was not a valid argument for denying Michael’s temporary total disability benefits claim.
Let Us Help You Today
A Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover damages if you have suffered a severe concussion in a workplace accident. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld for more information.