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First a Work Injury, Then an Additional Injury: 2 Types of Intervening Injury

Jay Johnson

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Work injuries are stressful and painful. That stress and pain can be compounded if you suffer an intervening injury while recovering from your work injury. If that intervening injury happens while you are rehabbing from a work injury, that injury also is covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act in Illinois. There are two types of intervening injuries that we commonly see. 

The first type of injury is an injury that takes place while you are in physical therapy actively treating for your work injury. If you injure yourself in physical therapy, whether you injure the same part of your body or a different part of your body, such an injury is covered under Illinois workers’ compensation law. You are entitled to receive all necessary medical treatment, compensation for lost wages caused by this intervening accident, and even compensation for permanent injuries caused by such an intervening accident. If you suffer such an injury in physical therapy, tell your physical therapist and doctor immediately. Timely documenting such an injury is critical to protecting your rights. 

The second type of intervening injury comes from overusing the part of your body opposite the part originally injured in a work accident. Assume that you injured your left arm in an accident at work. As a result, you have limited use of the left arm. Consequently, you have to use your right arm more than you normally would. Soon, that right arm begins to hurt. You see your doctor and learn that your right arm now is injured, too. Fear not! In Illinois, this type of injury also is covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. You are entitled to all necessary medical treatment, compensation for your lost wages, and compensation for permanent injury caused by this overuse. 

If you begin to suffer pain to the body part opposite the side you injured in a work accident, see your doctor immediately. Timely documentation of such an injury is critical to preserving and protecting your rights. To learn more about workers’ compensation, visit our Guide to Workers Compensation page. Contact or call Woodruff Johnson & Evans at (866) 400-4450.

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