Bill had been a dependable driver for Coast-to-Coast Trucking Company for over twenty years. By the very nature of his job, Bill spent much of his time in a seated position in his truck. In the last three or four years, Bill noticed a tingling in his legs, which progressively got worse. As it turned out, Bill had developed phlebitis in the legs because of poor circulation and other reasons.
Bill was placed on a blood-thinning drug which he had to take now for the rest of his life and was told by his doctor that he should not return to long, over-the-road truck driving because of the increase in risks to his health. Bill applied for workers\’ compensation benefits alleging that the development of the phlebitis was substantially contributed to by his work activities.
Issue: Will Bill be successful?
Answer: Bill has a good chance of obtaining workers\’ compensation benefits. The Workers\’ Compensation Act does not require a specific injury but, rather, only requires that the disability be caused, in whole or in part, by the work activities. In this particular case, Bill\’s prolonged sitting over a number of years substantially contributed to the development of the phlebitis in his legs. Because Bill could no longer perform that type of work without serious risks to his health, he may very well be entitled to workers\’ compensation benefits.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.