Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be easy, and it can be complicated depending on your situation. With clear-cut accidents that are obviously work-related, obtaining benefits to cover medical bills and time away from work can be fairly straight forward. For more complex situations, such as getting hurt while on a lunch break or developing lung problems due to long-term toxin exposure because of your occupation, these can be more difficult to prove, thus causing problems when you go to file for your benefits.
Another complex type of workers’ compensation claim is for workers who obtain a job with a pre-existing condition or injury and then aggravate or re-injure it while working at the new job. Your employer may attempt to prove that your worsened physical condition is mainly due to your past problems, and not from the new injury. This is when consulting a workers’ compensation claim is ideal, to help ensure your rights are protected and that you receive full coverage for your new ailments.
Pre-Existing Condition With a Previous Workers’ Comp Claim
When your pre-existing condition was caused by another job, and you have previously claimed worker’s comp for it, you will likely receive slightly less compensation this time if you re-injure it in your new job. If these new injuries or illnesses give you a permanent disability to some degree, these benefits will only increase based on how much more you are disabled as compared to your physical state before this incident. If on the other hand your physical state is not made any worse after you recover, you will not receive additional benefits.
Make sure you explain your situation fully to your doctor so they can examine you and determine whether your injury is actually new or if it is related to the past incident. These details impact the amount of workers’ comp you will receive to cover your losses.
Pre-Existing Condition Without a Previous Claim
If you have been injured in the past outside of work, and your job has made your condition worse, your workers’ comp benefits will probably only cover you the extent that your physical condition has worsened from where you started before the injury. It is a good idea in these cases to see a doctor who is familiar with worker’s comp injuries and illness, so they can categorize your state and clearly explain your new injury in the correct terms so your claim is not denied.
Ensure You’re Covered
When workers’ compensation claims become complicated due to previous conditions, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into when you file your claim. Medical bills can easily pile up, and especially with lost time from work, you want to make sure your benefits are covering your bills and your financial stability until you can get back to work. Consult with an experienced Jupiter workers’ compensation lawyer to help you file a claim that will more likely be accepted.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation and aggravated pre-existing conditions.