What Is An Idiopathic Injury?
There are many, many different types of injuries that a person can sustain, most of which can be incurred on or off the job. One of the most perplexing and often frightening types is what medicine calls an idiopathic injury. If something is idiopathic, it means that there is no immediately discernible cause for its onset – that it simply ‘happened’ – and may be very difficult to treat. Sometimes these do happen on the job, and it is important to have an idea as to how your workers’ compensation claim for an idiopathic injury might fare.
Idiopathy Has No Explanation
Normally, Florida workers’ compensation law holds that if you are injured while you are on your employer’s premises, or while you are acting within the scope of your employment and performing their work (at their direction or to further some interest of theirs), the injury is compensable under workers’ compensation. You give up the right to sue your employer in exchange for their workers’ compensation policy covering your medical bills and allowing you time to heal before returning to work. This only happens if the injury is work-related.
It may seem odd that medical science cannot explain certain events, but it is nonetheless true – sometimes body parts simply stop working; some bones give out. If this happens while an employee is on the clock, it can be difficult to determine whether the injury is work-related or not, because while most idiopathic injuries are determined to be personal in nature, they can sometimes be ruled compensable depending on where and how they happen, even if the why is uncertain.
What Role Did The Job Play?
Generally, if a causal link can be drawn between the injury and the requirements of your job, the injury will be covered by workers’ compensation. However, with idiopathic injuries, the causal link may be too hard to discover. As a result, other factors will be assessed by your employer and by their insurer to see if your injuries are still compensable. This is important, because very often, insurers try to argue that an injury is idiopathic as a method of trying to get out of paying; without a specific cause for an injury, they may argue that there is no way to show that the harm you suffered was work-related.
Florida law states that a causal connection between an accident and injuries that “are not readily observable” must be by “medical evidence only.” This is a very specific standard your case must meet, and in some cases this may be impossible. However, in some, you may be able to show that the injury you sustained must have been related to some characteristic of the job by process of elimination. For example, if someone faints and injures themselves in a fall while working, but can be shown not to have fainted at any time while they are off the premises, it must be inferred that there is some factor in the workplace that may have been the major contributing cause of the injury.
Call Our Winter Park Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Sudden injuries or accidents can be frightening, especially when they have no immediately obvious cause to point to. However, this does not mean that you will also be responsible for all your medical bills while recovering. The knowledgeable Winter Park workers’ compensation attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group will go over the facts with you, and try and help you formulate a plan that will give you the best chance to have your questions answered and your bills paid. Contact us today for a free consultation.