Idiopathic Injuries in Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law
Idiopathic Work Injury | Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law
A recent, but not new, trend among workers compensation insurers and adjusters is to deny claims on the basis that the injuries were “idiopathic.” In most cases these types of injuries are erroneously denied.
If an injury is truly idiopathic it would not be covered under Minnesota workers compensation law. Idiopathic means peculiar to the individual. In other words, personal or of an unknown cause. These types of injuries are typically ones that are caused by factors not related in any way to the work activities. For example, walking on a clean floor and suddenly the employee’s knee gives out for no explainable reason. This could be considered idiopathic. However, change the facts slightly and include that the injured worker was required to wear high heels, had to run to help a client, slipped on water, etc. you suddenly no longer have an idiopathic injury, but a situation where the work activities cause an “increased risk.” If the work activities increased the risk of injury then the work injury would be covered.
Unfortunately, insurers and adjusters utilize the idiopathic defense as a way to deny claims. If an adjuster hears things such as “I’m not sure what happened” or “I was a klutz,” in most situations the adjuster will deny the claim. Incidentally, you can still get benefits.
If an insured denies a claim based on an idiopathic injury you have a right to file a Claim Petition to receive workers compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney can help to prepare the appropriate documents and fight to get you benefits.
If you’ve been denied workers compensation benefits based on an idiopathic defense contact our office today for a free no hassle consultation. We are here to help.
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