Links between original injury & secondary injury while on workers comp

What is the difference between a primary injury and secondary injuries?

Primary injury is the initial injury that occurs during the time of the accident. Whether this is a work injury that cause temporary or permanent impairment or physical injuries from a motor vehicle accident.

Secondary injury occurs later, sometimes gradually, after the initial insult. Receiving immediate medical treatment after and accident can be crucial for mitigating the possibility of suffering secondary injuries.

Receiving workers compensation or accident compensation for secondary injuries can be complicated. Unlike primary injuries, which are a clear direct consequence of the accident, it is harder for injured workers to prove the cause of secondary injury.

Secondary knee injuries cause complicated misinterpretation

The Queensland Industrial Court allowed an appeal by Tony Luxton, against a decision by WorkCover to reject his claim for a secondary physical injury.

Mr Luxton had three prior accepted work-related injuries to his left knee, and one of the consequences of these injuries was that his left knee would on occasion spontaneously give way.

He was awaiting surgery on his knee when he was walking up some stairs at home and his left knee gave way, he suffered an injury to his right knee when his right foot impacted on the stairs after his left knee gave way.

The right knee injury was rejected by WorkCover and QComp

On appeal, the decision of the Court in WorkCover Queensland v Ward {2001} QIC 47 was reconsidered and found to have been effectively misinterpreted by the Insurer and QComp.

The requirement of Ward that there be an inexorable link between the original work-related injury and the secondary injury was putting words into the definition of injury.

The right knee injury was held to have arisen out of employment by reason of it being caused by the work related left knee injury: Luxton v QComp C/2008/141 (19 December 2008)

This is why it is crucial to receive expert help as soon as possible when seeking compensation. Although the above injury was initially rejected compensation, under the workers compensation scheme, it is not just the primary injury that is covered and we can help you argue this.

Our experts can help you receive fair compensation for secondary injuries you have received.

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