Serious hip condition aggravated by work injury

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What if you have an underlying condition that doesn't cause you any problems at all, but flares up after an injury at work?

This D.C. workers compensation case involved a Washington, D.C. worker who stumbled or tripped at work.  She caught herself and didn't fall to the floor, so she continued working.

But her hip and leg were bothering her as the day went on.  After a few days, the pain was getting worse so she reported it to her supervisor and went to the emergency room.  Doctors at the ER couldn't find anything wrong, or anything to explain the pain.  Returning to the same hospital ER a few days later, a consulting orthopedic surgeon diagnosed her with a femoral neck fracture in her hip and recommended emergency surgery.  She was operated on the next day.

The undiagnosed hip condition that this worker never knew she had, had weakened the bones in her hip over time so that she was susceptible to a fracture from a relatively minor accident.  The orthopedic surgeon indicated the condition was made symptomatic and the fracture happened when she tripped at work.   Tripping had aggravated her condition.

An aggravation of a pre-existing condition will often lead to benefits - monetary benefits and medical treatment under D.C. workers compensation law.  This allowed the worker to get the medical treatment she needed, income replacement benefits while she could not work, and a settlement of her workers compensation case.

How did this worker know to take action to link the serious medical condition with her work injury?

She read our book on workers compensation and got the help she needed right away.


Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer