Is a company liable for a reinjury?

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Is a company liable for a reinjury?

I had neck surgery and settled with my company and was released to go back to work and may have reinjured myself. Are they liable for this? If I am reinjured I will probably have to retire because my line of work is to strenuous for my injury.

Asked on August 18, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, no--the company would almost certainly not be liable for a reinjury UNLESS it was caused by some new act, negligence, etc. of the company. (i.e., if they would be liable for it as a new injury because something new caused it, then they'd be liable for it.) While you would need an attorney to review the settlement agreement by which you settled the earlier injury to be sure, your company's attorney(s) would have had to have been negligent--very possibly to the point of malpractice--to have not included a general release in the settlement. That release that would have let them off the hook for any damages, costs, liability, etc. growing out of the original injury, including not-yet-discovered costs. Therefore, it would usually have to be a new injury that happens to be to the same location (with damages provably coming out of the new occurence) to get around the release. Again, you should consult with an attorney who can evaluate the release and the circumstances, but usually the settlement will bar future liability.


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