That’s right. It is possible to get workers’ compensation if you had a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated or made worse by workplace conditions or a workplace accident. You could be entitled to lost wages, medical expenses, and perhaps compensation for partial or total temporary or permanent disability.
Having a pre-existing injury or condition complicates your workers’ comp claim because insurance companies frequently use that pre-existing condition as an excuse to deny your claim as non-work-related. This means your claim must be litigated before a workers’ comp judge.
We’ve helped many injured workers get the benefits they deserve because we give each and every claim the attention to detail it requires. Don’t take no for an answer. Call us at 267-350-6600 for your free, no-obligation consultation. Remember, we don’t get paid unless you do.
What is a Pre-Existing Injury in Workers’ Compensation?
Any impairment, weakness, injury, disease, or illness that occurs outside the workplace can be a pre-existing condition that is not compensable through workers’ comp.
For example, if you trip on an uneven sidewalk and fall and sprain your wrist, that is a pre-existing injury that has nothing to do with work. You will receive no workers’ comp benefits for this.
Similarly, if you have a condition such as asthma or arthritis, and it was not caused by the nature of your work, you are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Getting Workers’ Compensation When Your Pre-Existing Condition is Aggravated
Because your employer must take you as you are, workplace conditions or a workplace accident that harms you because of your pre-existing condition, but would not have harmed someone else without that condition, is compensable through workers’ comp insurance.
However, in these cases, the employer or the insurance company will claim that the harm was wholly due to your previous, non-work-related injury or condition. These claims are routinely denied. Why? Because insurance companies only make money when they don’t pay claims. You must fight back
Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Injuries
If someone who works in a warehouse had dislocated a shoulder playing rugby years ago, and the repetitive lifting and stacking of boxes aggravated that pre-existing injury, he or she may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Additionally, in this case, the worker may be entitled to be assigned to “light duty” while healing.
Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions
To take the asthma example a bit further, let’s say you have asthma and you are exposed to working conditions that aggravate it, such as excessive mold, dust, or airborne chemicals. If this requires additional medical treatment and/or prevents you from working, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
When Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation with a Pre-Existing Condition?
Whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation is a fact-specific inquiry, and every case is different. By assessing each claim in detail we’ve been able to get workers’ comp benefits for many clients with pre-existing conditions. We work hard to show that work conditions aggravated or worsened the injury or condition, requiring medical treatment and impairing their ability to do their job.
If the same body part or condition is affected by workplace conditions or a workplace accident, that may affect the amount of workers’ comp you are entitled to. In these cases, we gather all of the necessary proof and fight for the maximum benefit you can get.
We Can Get You the Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Deserve
While a pre-existing injury or a pre-existing condition can impact the amount of workers’ compensation you can get, in most cases, your claim should not be wholly denied. Let us help you get your lost wages and medical expenses compensation. Contact us to schedule your consultation.