A common question posed by recipients of workers’ compensation benefits in Connecticut is “What happens if I suffer another injury in the same spot?” The question was answered for one injured worker who recently settled his second workers’ compensation claim for nearly $400,000.

The man, who lives in Bristol, suffered a lower back injury while carrying pieces of steel in 2005. He underwent a surgical repair and received $45,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. Eleven years later, while working for the same employer, the worker again injured his lower back while carrying pieces of steel. The second injury forced him to retire.

The worker filed a workers’ compensation claim alleging that the original injury was exacerbated by the second. X-rays of his lumbar spine showed that his condition had significantly deteriorated since the original injury. The worker and his employer were able to agree that the second injury was related to the first and that both were work-related. The parties began settlement negotiations, and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer agreed to pay $295,000 into a Medicare set-aside fund that will be used to defray future medical expenses, including more surgery. The worker received the remaining $95,000 with no strings attached.

This case demonstrates how the workers’ compensation system can result in the payment of significant benefits to an injured worker. Implicit in this account is the role played by the worker’s attorney. Linking two work-related injuries is not always simple, and the assistance of an experienced lawyer is always helpful. Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury and then re-injured the same area of the body may wish to consult a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney for an evaluation of whether filing another claim would lead to the recovery of benefits.

Source: Connecticut Law Tribune, “Bristol Man Gets $390,000 Workers’ Comp Settlement After Second Back Injury,” Robert Storace, April 19, 2018