Idiopathic Injury: The Waitress And Her Obscure Injury

Idiopathic Injuries In New York

In order for your workplace injury to be compensable under the workers’ compensation law, you must have been injured both out of and in the course of your employment.

idiopathic injury: knee injury

How does an injury arise out of employment? It happens when some form of causal connection exists between your work conditions and your injury. This is important because in order to make a claim, there must be substantial evidence to prove your injury was caused by your work.

What happens if the cause of your injury cannot be specifically pin-pointed? This is called an Idiopathic Injury.

What Is An Idiopathic Injury?

An idiopathic injury is an injury that happens spontaneously or results from an obscure or unknown cause or from a personal condition you may have.

Generally, these idiopathic injuries are not entitled to compensation because they do not arise out of employment. This is also the case even if these injuries happen in the course of your employment.

However, there is a narrow exception to this rule. We successfully won a case for one of our clients based on this exception.

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What Happened?

Our client worked as a waitress in a Manhattan restaurant. On one particularly busy day not only was she waiting tables, she was also had to run her customers food from the kitchen to their tables.

At one stage during the day, as she was running food, she felt a pain in her knee. This pain just happened and she could not pinpoint any single event that led to it happening.

server serving food

The Case

Our client filed a workers’ compensation claim, however the carrier denied the case stating that this was an idiopatic injury.

The case went to trail, which was also denied. However, our client won on appeal.

The Result

On appeal, it was established that our client was found to have a significant knee injury that happened as a result of her work duties.

Our client was awarded a settlement for her injuries and was paid for her lost time. Our client also required surgery and her compensation covered her medical expenses.

She returned to work after she made a full recovery from her surgery.

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Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact us.