Visitor Question

Re-injured my back at work but claim being denied?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Waldron, Michigan)

I recently re-injured my back at work. I did have a previous injury at my workplace in Ohio which was a herniated disc in 2012. I did physical therapy and injections and didn’t have a problem until recently. I’m constantly bending over and lifting things at my new job in Michigan.

It was a horrible pain and went to the hospital and found it was a fairly large herniated disc. I have been getting paid and most of my bills are paid, but as of today the representative for the workers comp insurance company told me that he is more than likely going to deny my claim because of my previous back injury and said this wasn’t work related.

Can they do that? If so, what am I suppose to do? Thank you for any help!

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Under current Michigan law, an injured worker must prove there is a “medically distinguishable” work related injury when there is a question of compensation arising out of a preexisting medical condition. Evidence of increased back pain alone will not be enough.

To be entitled to workers compensation benefits you must have medical evidence showing your new injury caused a physical change in your preexisting condition.

To read Michigan’s law on Preexisting Injuries see:
Michigan Workers Compensation Disability Act Section 418.301 (1)

You have a right to be examined by a doctor chosen by your employer or your employer’s insurance company. If that doctor is unable to determine whether a medically distinguishable injury is the basis of compensation for your preexisting injury, then seek another medical opinion from a doctor of your choosing.

To preserve your right to a hearing on the matter, be sure to file a Workers Compensation Claim Form.

Finally, because of the difficulty inherent in proving a preexisting injury claim, you would be well-served by consulting with several local workers compensation attorneys. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. If you require extensive medical treatment and/or are unable to work for a significant period of time, an attorney is your best bet at getting fair compensation.

Learn more here: Getting Workers’ Comp With a Pre-existing Condition

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim.

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