Legal Question in Workers Comp in California

Disclosing Past Medical History

I have an open workerís comp claim through my past employer and am offered voc rehab for that injury Ė carpal tunnel - which I have accepted.

Now, I am claiming a work injury with my new employer for chronic low back problem because it was under control and now has gotten worse so it may be a partial injury. Iíve had this problem for the past 5 years and Iíve been with this employer for past 9 months. I have not disclosed to this insurance co. that this has been a chronic condition by not returning the medical record release form. Iím not trying to claim this injury fraudulently, this problem has worsen since I have been working here. Originally, this injury was not caused by an accident, work, or any specific event.

This new injury was reported to my new insu. Co. on 2/28/02 and a month later, after leaving several messages, I still have not been offered info. on med. Facility I can go to although I do have a claim #.

Should I disclose, to this insu. Co., that I have an open claim with another insu. co. for carpal tunnel and that they have offered me voc. Rehab? Also, If I tell them about my chronic low back history, does that automatically deny my claim?

Asked on 3/26/02, 3:01 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Lee R. Albert PACIFIC LAW NETWORK
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Re: Disclosing Past Medical History

You are not a doctor and really do not have the medical knowledge of how the injury came about. It might be that the job you had caused the problem and, if so, a claim should be made against both employers for a continuous trauma to the back and allow a doctor to make the evaluation as to cause. You should not self-diagnose and should be open and honest, but not give an opinion as to causation.

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3/30/02, 2:47 am

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