So if I’m walking in my house and my industrially related knee gives way, and I fall and hurt my shoulder, is the shoulder covered? What if I’m up on a ladder and my industrially injured elbow locks up and I fall and hurt my back – is the back covered? Answer is almost always: yes! This is called a compensable consequence of the industrial injury. Any foreseeable injury that would not have happened but for the industrial injury can be covered as long as the activity the injured worker was engaged in at the time of the new injury was “reasonable”. An activity is reasonable as long as it has not been restricted by a doctor.
Other very common examples of compensable consequences in an Arizona Workers Compensation claim are when an injured worker overuses the uninjured arm or leg while favoring the injured arm or leg. Or where a worker who has injured a leg, foot, or ankle, develops low back pain because of their altered gait from the leg injury.
Snow, Carpio, and Weekley are workers compensation attorney in Arizona with offices in Phoenix and Tucson. He can be reached at (602) 532-0700 or (520) 647-9000. He has represented thousands of injured workers before the Industrial Commission of Arizona.