If I am injured at home falling down my own stairs after I have an accepted knee injury claim, is it covered under my Arizona Work Comp Claim?
Under Arizona law, the answer to this question is most likely "yes." The compensable consequences or successive injury doctrine says that as long as the injury is directly and naturally caused by the preexisting accepted workers' compensation claim and the claimant's conduct was not unreasonable when he or she sustained the secondary injury, it should be covered under Arizona workers' compensation law.
In most cases, Arizona insurance carriers will accept the secondary injury. The only circumstance when they will deny it is if the claimant acts unreasonably such as doing something outside their physician's restrictions when they are injured.
However, we at Fendon Law Firm do see these types of cases from time to time where an insurance carrier will still dispute whether they are liable for a secondary injury. It is important that if this happens to you that you consult an experienced attorney at Fendon Law Firm as soon as possible. We can assist you in making sure that your secondary injury is covered as part of the first injury.
On a side note, this area of Arizona work comp law was clarified by one of Fendon Law Firm's own attorneys, founding partner, Don Fendon. He had a case in the mid‑1980s where a client who was throwing a Frisbee reinjured his knee, and the insurance carrier denied liability for the re‑injury. Attorney Fendon took the case up to the appellate court and received a favorable decision from the Court of Appeals finding that that secondary injury was related to the industrial injury.
Fendon Law Firm accepts workers' compensation and Social Security disability cases throughout the State of Arizona. We are here to help injured workers and disabled folks with their needs. Please feel free to call us for a free consultation. We have offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott Valley.