This is “strange bird” in the field of law of workers' compensation. It is an injury that happens after the job injury because of the medical condition the originally injured body part.
I recently received a favorable Award from a local Judge at the State Board of Workers' Compensation. My client was an office cleaning person. She received medical care for an initial wrist and thumb injury. The client had surgery. After the surgery was completed, she complained to the doctor that her elbow was hurting. The doctor dismissed her complaints, stating the problem remains in her thumb and wrist.
I secured another hand specialist as her new treating physician and he immediately provided an opinion different from the first surgeon. The new doctor felt this issue in her elbow began after the surgery (which meant it was not part of the original job injury, thus, superadded).
I received excellent medical evidence from the subsequent hand specialist, took the evidence to court, presented it to the Judge and we won. The Judge cited the legal precedent for superadded injury and now the workers' compensation insurance company must pay for my client's “new” medical problem with her elbow.
The combined effort of my paralegal and me to do all that needed to be done to win the case was about 30 hours of work. My attorney fee was $0. Why? Because in workers' compensation cases if you are fighting for medical care only and not for money benefits, the attorney for the worker cannot charge a fee. That did not stop us from performing the work.
I do hope this client will refer others to my practice, knowing the intense work we put into every case. Does your lawyer do that for you?