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Minnesota Work Injury Lawyer: Will a Hernia Be Considered a Work Injury?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

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Workers’ Compensation Lawyer St. Paul, MN

As a condition that can manifest at any time during their life, anyone can suffer from a hernia if the right conditions in their body are met. While hernias can easily manifest from working labor-intensive jobs, there are a number of causes outside of work that can lead to their formation. Due to this, those who develop hernias and seek worker’s compensation to cover them may find the insurance adjusters arguing against coverage. So, how do you push back if you believe a hernia is a work-related injury and should be covered under worker’s compensation?

Understanding Hernia Formation

A hernia is defined as an organ pushing through the muscle walls that are meant to hold it in place. This is usually in the area where the abdomen meets the groin, but can appear anywhere from the groin to the upper abdomen by the stomach. While hernias can be present from birth, those who develop them later will do so for several reasons, including:

  • Age
  • Weak Muscles
  • Chronic Coughing
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight Gain
  • Constipation

Age is typically the biggest cause of hernias. The older you get, the weaker your muscles will become. Combine this with the heavy lifting of a construction job, for example, and it is likely a hernia is in your future. When this happens, only surgery can repair the tear in the muscle and make sure your organs (typically your intestines, though sometimes your stomach) can be safely put back in.

Proving Work Causes Hernias

If you work a job that requires heavy lifting and you are over 50, then it seems pretty obvious that work caused your hernia. However, because age is a factor, worker’s compensation insurance adjusters will still fight back. They could state that because you cough frequently from smoking, this caused the hernia instead. They could also say mothering four kids was the reason for a hernia and not your job.

However, you should never take an insurance adjuster’s argument at face value. They are just trying to keep costs down. It doesn’t mean they are right. Even if a hernia was cause by the combination of work and your life outside of work, you simply need to prove that you job contributed to its formation.

For example, if you were hurt at work in some other way that required abdominal surgery, the formation of a hernia at any point could be contributed to this need for surgery. The same can be said for medication that causes constipation or weight gain from immobility. If one work injury causes a hernia, that is still considered a work injury itself too.

Furthermore, if your work environment can be shown to be a solid contributing cause for a hernia, it will still classify was a work injury. Jobs that involve heavy or even repetitive lifting are obvious factors, but jobs that can cause constant coughing can also be a cause as well.

Need Help? Contact Joshua Borken Today!

Even if a hernia was the directly or indirectly caused by your job, you can still get worker’s compensation for it. You are entitled to temporary disability until you can have the hernia fixed and it heals up so you can return to your work. Furthermore, if you already manifested a hernia, you are at risk for the formation of another. Your doctor may place work restrictions to prevent this and your employer has to comply with them.

If you are an injured worker in Minnesota, contact us today. The Law Office of Joshua Borken is dedicated to representing injured workers so that they can get the compensation that their work injuries deserve.