Sunday, May 31, 2015

High Blood Pressure and your Virginia Workers Compensation Claim

Recently, I have had a number of clients with this problem. They have a painful condition due to a Virginia Workers' Compensation back or neck injury. At the same time they have high blood pressure.
The back or neck doctors "refuse" to operate or do any invasive procedure due to the high blood pressure. The workers' compensation insurance company and the doctors ask the claimants to get their blood pressure under control.

The claimants have a big problem. They would like to control their blood pressure. They know it is dangerous. They would like to obtain relief for their back or neck problems but the doctors refuse to do anything due to the high blood pressure. In most cases, they no longer have health insurance because that expired when they were unable to return to work due to the accident. Thus, they are not able to handle a problem like high blood pressure without insurance.

The workers' compensation insurer will not pay for high blood pressure case unless it was caused by the accident. The orthopedists who are taking care of the orthopedic problem are reluctant to state the "accident" caused the high blood pressure. This is so even if the claimant did not have high blood pressure before the accident. This is so even though "pain" can aggravate or exacerbate high blood pressure.

In some cases the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission will require the workers' compensation carrier to take care of an unrelated problem in order to correct a problem caused by the accident. Most of the time, the workers' compensation carrier will refuse to try to correct a problem such as "high blood pressure" if it was not caused by the accident. The Rule appears to be the Commission will not force the insurers to control high blood pressure if it existed before the claimant's accident. Usually, it did.

In conclusion, it appears my clients will stay in Limbo regarding their high blood pressure unless I can obtain some kind of relief from the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission.