What is ‘mechanism of injury’ in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation?

A phrase we throw around in workers’ compensation circles is the ‘mechanism of injury’. What exactly does ‘mechanism of injury’ mean in workers compensation cases?

Simply put — mechanism of injury is the manner in which the injury occurred. In other words, how an injured worker was actually injured. If your workers compensation claim is denied and you have to file a claim petition to fight for benefits, you will be asked several questions about the mechanism of injury during your testimony.

Mechanism of injury interplays with causation. Many workers’ compensation cases do indeed revolve around the issue of causation, in other words, whether the alleged medical condition was caused by the accident that occurred at work. Mechanism of injury is asked at every workers’ compensation hearing on a denied claim. It is important in determining if the actual mechanism of how the injury occurred would be expected to cause the injury that is alleged by the injured worker.

The important point here is that injured workers should be very clear on the mechanism of injury. Most importantly, describe how you got hurt in detail to your doctor. Be clear. Unclear descriptions of how the injury occurred can cause significant problems in litigating a workers’ compensation case.
Some examples of mechanisms of injury are lifting heavy items, slip and falls on slippery surfaces, fork lift accidents, helping assist a patient and feeling pain . . . these are just a few examples.  Knowing and reporting the details is critical.

If you have been injured at work, call Mooney Law to fight and protect your rights and benefits. Workers’ compensation litigation is complex, involves testimony, several; hearings, medical testimony from doctors, and more. Mooney Law has recovered tens of millions of dollars in benefits for injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. Call today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.