A recent, but not new, trend amongst workers’ compensation insurers and adjusters is to deny claims on the basis that the injuries were “idiopathic.” In most cases these types of injuries are erroneously denied. It is important to discuss the specific details about the injury with an attorney who understands Minnesota workers’ compensation.
If an injury is truly “idiopathic”, it would not be covered under Minnesota workers compensation. Idiopathic means peculiar to the individual. In other words, personal or of an unknown cause. These types of injuries are typically ones that are caused by factors not related in any way to the work activities. For example, walking on a clean floor and suddenly your knee gives out for no explainable reason. This could be considered idiopathic. However change the facts slightly, and include that the injured worker was required to wear high heels, had to run to help a client, slipped on water, etc. you suddenly no longer have an idiopathic injury but a situation where the work activities put injured worker at a “increased risk.” As such, making the injury compensable and work related.
Unfortunately, insurers and adjusters latch on to the idiopathic defense as a way to deny claims. If an adjuster hears things such as “I’m not sure what happened” or “I was a klutz” in most situations the adjuster will deny the claim. Incidentally, this does not mean that you cannot get benefits. It means you should discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
If an insured denies a claim based on an idiopathic injury you have a right to file a Claim Petition to get workers compensation benefits. A work injury attorney can help you to prepare the appropriate documents and fight to get you benefits.
If you’ve been denied workers compensation benefits based on an idiopathic defense contact our office today for a free no hassle consultation with one of our Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys. We are here to help.