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How Can a Pre-existing Condition Affect a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Pre-existing Condition | PS

If you have a pre-existing condition, you may wonder how it will affect your workers’ compensation claim. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the severity of your condition, the cause of your injury, and whether you disclosed your condition to your employer. In general, pre-existing conditions can make it more challenging to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if your employer was aware of your condition and failed to take steps to protect you from risks, you may still be eligible for benefits.

Read more about how pre-existing conditions affect your workers’ compensation claim.

What is a Pre-existing Condition?

A “pre-existing condition” is a physical or mental injury or disease you had before your job-related injury or disease. Your employer or your workers’ compensation insurance company may try to deny your claim if they say a pre-existing condition caused your job-related injury or disease.

For example, suppose you have a back condition and hurt your back at work. In that case, your employer or workers’ compensation insurance company may say that the work injury was not caused by your job but by the pre-existing condition. Or, if you have diabetes and you develop carpal tunnel syndrome from doing repetitive tasks at work, your employer or workers’ compensation insurance company may say that the carpal tunnel syndrome was not caused by your job but by pre-existing diabetes.

How Can a Pre-existing Condition Affect a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A pre-existing condition can significantly impact a workers’ compensation claim. The employer is responsible for treatment costs if the condition is work-related. The employee is responsible for the costs if the condition is not work-related. This can be problematic for workers’ compensation because it is not always clear if the injury or illness is work-related.

There are a few ways to determine if a pre-existing condition is work-related.

  • The first is to look at the nature of the injury or illness. If it is something that the work could have only caused, then it is likely work-related.
  • The second is to look at the timing of the injury or illness. It is more likely to be work-related if it occurs shortly after starting a new job.
  • The third way to determine if a pre-existing condition is work-related is to look at the employee’s history. If the employee has a history of injury or illness, it is more likely that the current condition is work-related.

It is important to remember that each case is different and that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

How Can I Protect Myself if I Have a Pre-existing Condition?

If you have a pre-existing condition, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your workers’ compensation claim:

  1. Get a note from your doctor about your pre-existing condition and what activities or job tasks may aggravate it.
  1. Tell your employer about your pre-existing condition and what job tasks or activities may aggravate it.
  1. If you are injured at work, tell your employer right away and be sure to include all information about your injury, including what body part is injured and how the injury happened.
  1. Make sure your workers’ compensation claim includes all your pre-existing conditions that might be affected by your job-related injury or disease.
  1. Be prepared to explain how your job-related injury or disease differs from your pre-existing condition. For example, if you have a back condition and you hurt your back at work, you must explain how the work injury differs from your pre-existing condition.
To Wrap Things Up

If you have a pre-existing condition, it is essential to understand how it can affect your workers’ compensation claim. Pre-existing conditions can make it more difficult to prove that your injury is work-related, and they can also affect the amount of benefits you are entitled to. If you have a pre-existing condition and have been injured at work, contact Pistiolas Law (844-414-1768) for a free consultation.

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