What Happens if You Have Two Work Injuries in a Row?
Yikes! It is bad enough to hurt yourself at work one time, but can you imagine doing it again, shortly after you originally injured yourself? What happens then? This is really complicated where there are two injuries and successive employers.
When this happens, the Appeals Officer typically is the one who has to make a ruling of law which Employer is responsible for the injury. The question that we all ask is whether the injured worker has had a recurrence of the first injury, or whether there is an aggravation, resulting in a new injury. If it is a recurrence, then it belongs on the first injury, while an aggravation would belong on the second injury. This is a very tricky area of the law, so it is very important to obtain Counsel for BOTH claims.
Many times, Employers will simply blame each other, which is why the Appeals Officer often times has to make the decision. In Nevada, there is something called the Last Injurious Exposure Rule. See Grover C. Dils Med. Ctr. v. Menditto, 112 P.3d 1093 (2005). This case discusses what is considered a recurrence and what is considered an aggravation.
Depending upon what the law says, it may affect which Employer is responsible for your entire injury, regardless of whether it was first or second. Like many areas in Workers’ Compensation in Nevada, the Last Injurious Exposure Rule unique to each and every case, and requires careful evaluation by an experienced lawyer to ensure you are in the best position possible for securing the compensation and benefits you need.
Contact Shook & Stone if you have questions about your case!