The number one basis of workers’ comp claim denials is the existence of a pre-existing condition. Your employer and their insurer will work hard to prove that you had a pre-existing illness or injury before the workplace accident occurred. But did you know that this is not an adequate basis to deny your claim? More often than not, a workplace accident can worsen or aggravate your pre-existing condition. If this happens, you are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
What are Common Pre-Existing Conditions in Work-Related Injuries?
There are many common conditions made worse by work-related duties. These include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neck and back pain
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Vision or hearing loss
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Knee injuries
How Do I Prove that My Pre-Existing Condition Became Worse?
In order to receive workers’ comp benefits for the worsening of your pre-existing condition, the injury must have been significantly aggravated by work. This means that the work-related injury has to be a “major” cause of harm, which includes work-related accidents resulting in a new injury, aggravated pre-existing injuries, or a prior illness combined with a new work-related illness that prolongs your disability.
There are a number of ways to prove that your on-the-job accident warrants workers’ comp benefits, even if you have a pre-existing condition. We look at:
- Required emergency care
- Loss of consciousness
- Days away from work
- Need for medical treatment
- Physical limitations which lead to job transfers/changes
- Restricted work hours
- Inability to perform previous work duties
Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
If you have any pre-existing conditions, it is very likely that your employer’s insurance company will deny your workers’ comp benefits since it’s the easiest defense against your claim. But if your condition was aggravated, your illness was prolonged, or you sustained a new work-related injury, you are still entitled to benefits. If you’ve been denied these benefits or if you haven’t started the claim process yet, speak to one of our experienced workers’ comp lawyers at Powers & Caccavale. Massachusetts’s workers’ comp law and its pre-existing condition statutes can be complex and overwhelming. Let us help take some of that weight off your shoulders. A pre-existing condition should not stop you from getting the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016.