Interviewer: What are the ways one can get rejected from workers comp? What are the other ways to get rejected?
Kevin Roach: Another common way to have your claim denied is if you can't prove that you were injured at work. You may be working by yourself and no one witnessed it, you didn't report it, you may report it within 30 days, two or three weeks later and there is no medical documentation so it can be very hard to prove these up. The documentation is very important so I always encourage people to, if your employer is dragging their feet, not providing you treatment, get over there and see your own doctor.
The Biggest Way that People Get Denied Workers Compensation is By Failing to Report an Injury
You might have to pay out of your pocket initially but we could probably get you reimbursed for that later on. If you have an emergency situation, you need treatment, they are not providing it, then you have every right to go get treatment on your own. Probably one of the biggest ways that people get denied is not reporting their injury, getting their treatment right away, just because there is hesitation, they are hesitant to push the issue, they don't want to jeopardize their job, they are worried about losing their job and their future I guess.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Injuries are common Missouri Workers’ Compensation Claims
Interviewer: Would carpal tunnel syndrome be a valid reason for someone to receive workers comp benefits?
Kevin Roach: Yes, carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the more common injuries that I see. It's considered what's known as an occupational disease. Basically it is caused by a condition or illness due to exposure at your work place, repetitive use of your arms and hands typically is, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury as a result, but yeah, definitely very common occupational disease claim that I see. I also see a lot of tennis elbow or cubital tunnel syndrome. Tennis elbow or cubital tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel for your elbows. It's can also be in the form of cubital tunnel. Basically it just moves up your arm, it is kind of a progressive injury if you don't get your wrist fixed, it may go up to your elbows, it may even go up to your shoulders. I see that a lot. A lot of times people will have carpal tunnel and also cubital tunnel at the same time. They may have trigger finger, it's similar to carpal tunnel, you just get it in your fingers. Another occupational injury that I see is hearing loss. Sometimes you'll see this with people who work in loud factories or work at the airport, they may have a hearing loss claim.
Back Injuries Are Also Commonly Cited Injuries for Workers’ Compensation
Those are two of the more common ones that I see. Back injuries can be considered occupational claims as well. If you are lifting, bending, lifting, stooping on a regular basis, you develop disability in your back that can be considered occupational disease. Basically with occupational disease, there is no specific incident like where you just fell and it started hurting or you bent over and picked something up and it started hurting. It's something that just develops over time just from the daily wear and tear of your job.
Smoking Marijuana Can Cause in a 50% Reduction in Benefits
Interviewer: The drug tests that are being taken, what if someone had smoked marijuana like a month prior, just because someone had smoked marijuana or done some sort of drug but previously does it matter, the amount of time that is argued actually?
Kevin Roach: Well, absolutely that can be argued. I have argued this issue many times and I think it is extremely unfair, especially with marijuana being legal in many states now, very unfair that someone can have a 50% reduction benefits to someone that just has a trace amount of marijuana in their system.