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15.2 What does the Varying Nexus mean to the Delegate?
These separate tests of the nexus with employment are highly significant in the investigation of claims for liability. Diseases require a contribution (either material or to a significant degree) from employment and in some circumstances may be the easier of the two criteria to prove. Since the status of the claimed condition as 'injury' or 'disease' is therefore critical, Delegates should seek to establish this distinction early in the investigation. The process of obtaining a satisfactory diagnosis of the medical condition usually establishes whether it is an injury or disease.
However, the investigation of the circumstances in which the condition arose may require revision of this classification (i.e. is it an injury or disease?) as the case progresses. For instance, the likelihood of a knee condition being caused by a slight but recorded fall or alternatively a gradual degenerative process over the preceding period, may change as former events are revealed and new medical opinions are sought. Delegates should remain flexible.