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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110586
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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On 3/28/2013 at 6:50am I was at work and proceeding to the

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On 3/28/2013 at 6:50am I was at work and proceeding to the storage room to get paper for my copier. When going through the double doors, my left foot stepped on a piece of plastic (a document protector) and my left foot slipped forward hyper extending the left knee, but I did not fall to the ground, but hurt the knee badly. it was warm to touch and swollen. I was seen in employee health, went home early, and had an urgent care appointment with ortho the day of injury. I attempted to return to work on 4/2/2013, but the knee was too painful and I was unable to walk. I stopped work 4/4/2013. on 5/23/2013 I received a letter from OWCP stating my agency is challenging my case. 1. some medical notes were signed by a PA and needed to be cosigned by attending (I took corrective action on that). 2. The agency stated I started work early that day (I normally start at 7:30am), therefore I was not authorized to be there (corrective action - VHA Handbook that indicates that in my position I will be expected to work irregular tours of duty; which was provided to OWCP when answering there questions). 3. They are stating I have pre-existing medical problems with my left knee and wants me to forward medical test and documentation, but I don't have any. I've had Lupus for 23 years and never once was treated for an left leg injury. I came in early that day to complete VA policies and directives that needed to be submitted in mid April. Unlike other Program Managers in the VA, I work alone, I have no subordinates or support staff to assist in any job tasks. i had just returned from vacation the week prior, and all that work was just sitting there, so i came in early to get a jump start. Now they are challenging that I was unauthorized to be there 40 mins early than my regular time. can they deny my case?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

OWCP always challenges cases and forces the employee to provide detailed medical information to prove their injury was caused by something that happened in the course and scope of their duty at work. If you do have pre-existing conditions your doctor is going to have to thoroughly explain how with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the accident either made your injury worse or aggravated the pre-existing condition and then the employer is still liable for that injury. If your medical records do not support their claim of pre-existing injury, then you can prove they are denying your claim in bad faith and you could seek to ask for penalties including attorney's fees for their improper denial of your claim.

I am afraid that you are going to have to file a workers compensation appeal with OWCP, as they often force employees to do. You would do best using a local workers compensation attorney to file your OWCP claim and appeal to fight them to make them to pay your claim.

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