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Representing Injured Workers Since 1955

Obesity may be acceptable reason for workers' compensation claims

Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who are unable to work for some period of time due to an injury or illness caused by a situation at work. A workplace accident that leaves a person with a head injury or a back injury or condition that developed after toxic exposure while at work are all viable and common reasons for someone to file a workers’ compensation claim.

A recent news article discussed potential changes and increases in workers’ compensation claims now that the American Medical Association has listed obesity as a primary disease, treatable just as other other disease instead of as a side effect or result from another condition. If a person’s obesity can be attributed to a work environment or to another work-related injury, it may be able to justify a claim on its own.

Some situations that may be cause for workers’ compensation claims could include any sedentary job, such as driving a truck. Workers could claim that the lack of activity inherent in the job led to or added to the obesity. Other situations are those that would be called “compensable consequences of injury” such as gaining weight as a side effect from a medication that is being taken for a work-related injury.

The AMA’s new classification may open new doors for obese workers to gain assistance. If you believe that a workplace injury or condition has affected your weight and therefore your health, you may consider speaking with am experienced workplace injury attorney to learn if you are eligible for any benefits.

Source: Sacramento Business Journal, “What obesity means for workers’ comp claims” Kelly Johnson, August 9, 2013

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