Occupational Injuries and Causality Assignments
When a worker is injured on the job they enter the workers compensation system for treatment of their injury. The term “causality,” basically falls into two categories: legal and medical.
Legal causality focuses primarily on the accident itself, meaning there is a causal relationship between the accident and the work being performed. This takes into account the accident as well as the employee’s investigation and documentation regarding time, place, and circumstance of the employment. This process usually does not involve a physician, but employees, attorneys, and insurance companies.
Medical causation involves the connection between the accident and the type of injury or injuries sustained. Not all medical causality determinations are simple; indeed, they can become very complicated.
In the workman’s compensation system, it is the role of the expert physician to determine medical causality. The process of determining medical causation involves a complete medical record review, documentation of pre-existing conditions – work related or otherwise, and a detailed history and physical examination. Additionally, mechanism of action is of critical importance, e.g. would the description of the injury reasonably cause the symptoms and exam findings as obtained by the expert physician? Ultimately, medical causality determination is a complicated process that involves weighting history, mechanism of injury, exam findings and subjective complaints in conjunction with imaging studies and patient response to select diagnostic tests.
Dr. Chan and Dr. Wakeshima have both achieved Level II Accreditation with the State of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Both Dr. Chan and Dr. Wakeshima perform causality assessments, specialty care, and are available for Independent Medical Examinations.