Extracurricular activities such as hobbies and sports can impact your workers’ compensation claim for benefits. This may seem surprising since workers’ compensation focuses on work-related injuries. But activities you do outside of work could lead to denial or discontinuance of benefits.
What Does Your Personal Life Have to Do With Workers’ Compensation?
When workers’ compensation insurance companies review claims for benefits, they look for reasons to deny coverage. These reasons could include:
- It appears that the injury did not happen at work
- The worker is not as injured as he or she claims
- The worker is making the injury worse
- The worker is disobeying doctor’s orders or not getting treatment
To find evidence backing up their denial of coverage, insurance companies will send investigators to videotape injured workers going about their daily lives. They may run background checks and web searches too.
Many people spend time outside work playing sports, exercising, or doing active hobbies. When you have an injury, you may not be able to do some of these activities anymore. Or you might decide to disobey your doctor’s restrictions and do them anyway.
If the insurance company finds out that you still do squats even though you have a lower back injury, or that you do archery despite your torn shoulder muscle, it may deny or discontinue your benefits. Unfortunately, the insurer rarely asks you for an explanation first. Maybe your doctor expressly told you that you could still lift weights, or you use the other shoulder for archery.
When facing issues with the insurance company due to your activities outside work, talk to a lawyer about your options. A lawyer may be able to help you get your benefits reinstated. In addition, the lawyer should review your entire workers’ compensation case to see if you are entitled to any other benefits. You may be eligible for physical therapy, surgery, or other treatment that will get you back to your old extracurricular activities sooner.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.