What constitutes a worker’s comp injury?

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What constitutes a worker’s comp injury?

After working at a company for 8 years with no knee problems, they had me run a machine I’d never run before with a foot petal feed. My knee began to hurt after a short time and by the end of the day the pain was tremendous. Now the doctor says to stay home for a week, but this was not caused by running the machine, it is degenerative. I can’t walk, I can’t work, I am in constant pain. The doctor says to not run this machine again but this is not a workers comp injury. Why not?

Asked on April 10, 2015 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is not a worker's comp injury because according to what you write, it is a degenerative condition NOT caused by the machine--that is, not caused by work. Even if work makes it worse, it's only worker's comp if work caused it, not if a condition caused some way means that work (or at least one particular job at work) is not a good idea. Example from sports: I have osteoarthritis in my right big toe. It's a degenerative condition due to my age and general wear and tear, not caused by any specific activity or injury. But it caused it me to give up a form of karate I love, because that style used very hard front kicks that were causing excrutiating pain. The injury precludes that style of karate, but it's not a karate injury because karate did not cause it. Similarly, you describe an injury which prevents you from doing certain work activities, but which was not caused  by work. Workers comp is only to compensate for work-caused injuries.


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