An Incident at Work Does Not Necessarily Equate to a Compensable Injury

The claimant was working on a pipe with a co-worker, when the pipe swung down and struck the claimant on the side of the head.  There was a minor cut on claimant’s head which required first aid treatment.  The claimant declined formal medical care after the incident. Claimant completed the remainder of his work day without complaints.   The following day, claimant returned to work and worked for five hours without complaints.   During this time his co-workers and his supervisor checked on claimant, and claimant insisted he was fine and required no medical treatment.   Claimant was subsequently terminated for a safety rule violation.   After his termination, claimant sought medical treatment for a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine strain.  At the time of hearing, claimant’s condition had alleged worsened.

The ALJ determined that claimant did not sustain a work-related injury.   While there was no dispute that claimant had an accident resulting in a cut and the need for first aid treatment, the ALJ found that claimant suffered no compensable injury.  In denying the claim, the ALJ relied upon the fact that the claimant did not require any formal medical treatment.  The ALJ credited Respondents’ expert that claimant’s presentation over the course of the claim was not consistent with a head injury.  Furthermore, the ALJ credited the employer witnesses regarding the disputed mechanism of injury and claimant’s presentation in the hours immediately following the accident.   The employer witnesses’ testimony was instrumental in the ALJ’s conclusion that claimant suffered no compensable work-related injury. Sidlo v. Fluor Facility and Plant Services and CNA Ins. Co. W.C. No. 5-017-384 (ICAO August 3, 2017)

Would you like to know more?  Contact Brad Miller at or Amanda Branson at or call at 720-488-9586.


From the August 2017 Pollart Miller Newsletter