In some cases, it's obvious that your injury is related to your job. If you're working on the assembly line and get your hand caught in the machine, there's little doubt that resulting medical bills are from that incident alone.
That said, don't assume all accidents are this clear. That's especially true if they take a long time to really develop.
For instance, perhaps you've been having some knee pain for a year or more. It's getting so bad that you can barely walk. You may need surgery and a long rehabilitation.
You think the injury is from the repetition of your job. You often have to bend down and pick up heavy items. You do this multiple times a day, every day that you work. Not only is the repetition dangerous, but you slipped on a wet tile a few weeks ago and felt a flash of pain. You think that event really made things worse and it's why the pain has progressed so quickly.
However, you also run four days a week at the gym. You know that type of pounding can also cause knee pain, especially if you don't have excellent form while you run. Plus, you and some of your co-workers got together on the weekend to play basketball. Your knee really started to hurt during the game.
You can see the problem. How do you show that your workplace injuries caused the pain, not the running or the basketball game?
It's best to report any workplace incidents as soon as they happen. If you have it on the record that you slipped before the basketball game, for instance, that may help your case. You also need to talk to a medical professional. While all pain may just feel the same to you, a doctor can look at the real damage and may be able to tell you what caused it. An injury caused by bending and lifting may not damage the body in the same way as running and jogging, and a doctor can help give you a professional account on your side.
As you can see, work injuries can get complicated. Make sure you know your rights throughout the process.
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