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Causation in occupational injury

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Abstract:

Abstract

Assessment for compensation of occupational injury forms is commonplace for occupational medicine specialists and less frequently for other health-care providers. There is no specific training to understand the legal system that forms the basis of any compensation system. This paper sets out a process for judging medical scientific evidence in cases of suspected occupational injury or disease. The process is confusing for medical and legal professionals because of the lack of a common understanding. Understanding the concepts of balance of probabilities and scientific probability is essential for clarity of approach. There is an inevitable conclusion that cause of occupational injury or disease in each case will rest on a sequential consideration of general and specific cause.

Keywords: causality; insurance legislature; jurisprudence; occupational medicine; worker's compensation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.01921.x

Affiliations: 1: Departments of General Practice and Primary Health Care and 2: Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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