What is an Intervening Cause?
Worker’s Comp Attorney Explains Intervening Cause for Florida Workers
After a workplace injury, you might find that your claim hits a wall.
The insurance was paying for your medical treatments, and your wages were being compensated too. Then, you are involved in another accident, and the insurer decides to cease all payments for your work-related injury.
Now, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier claims that the new accident intervenes with your injury; therefore, they feel they are no longer responsible for your medical treatments or lost wages.
The Intervening Cause Doctrine
The Intervening Cause Doctrine helps relieve one party when a new and unforeseeable event occurs. When that new event intervenes to produce a result, this Doctrine prevents them from being liable for damages.
While it offers protections, insurance companies like to invoke their Intervening Cause argument to stop paying on workers’ compensation claim.
The intervening cause must break the chain of causation between the work-related accident and injury. If the incident creates entirely new injuries; not overlapping those of the work-related injury, the intervening cause would not apply.
Insurance Companies Argue Intervening Cause Regardless
Insurance companies use any opportunity to lessen the financial burden on their company or stop payments to injured workers entirely. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident following a separate work-related accident, do not be surprised if the workers’ compensation insurer attempts to stop payments. Intervening events, including minor injuries to specific body parts, give them an opportunity to argue against further payments.
Protect Yourself if Another Incident Occurs
The best way to protect yourself from intervening cause arguments is to tell your doctor about your work-related injury and how the new event affects that injury. Once you have received treatment for the intervening event, the physician should indicate you have returned to your baseline before the intervening event.
Then, you can resume treatment for the first work-related accident.
The biggest mistake injured workers make in these situations is not to tell their doctor that they are suffering a work-related injury already. Without proper notations in the chart, the insurance company has a viable chance of arguing against payments — and the courts could approve a stop in payments.
No matter what, you must keep detailed records that help separate the work-related injury from the subsequent accident. Failure to do so complicates your workers’ compensation claim and gives the insurance company grounds to contest future payments.
Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Whether you are seeking compensation for a work-related injury or you have an intervening cause that has disrupted your workers’ compensation benefits, speak with an attorney from The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A. today. Our attorneys understand the complexities of the workers’ compensation system, and how intervening causes might affect your benefits.
We can help you with your Florida workers’ compensation case and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free case evaluation now by calling our offices at 954-677-0155 or request more information online.