Don’t stress that your claim will be denied because of a pre-existing condition.
Our Georgia attorneys explain how you can still get workers’ comp benefits.
Many people who suffer a workplace injury ask whether their workers’ compensation claim will be denied due to a pre-existing condition. This question can cause a lot of anxiety and misunderstanding, which is why we’re here to tell you that most states allow for injured workers to be eligible for workers’ comp — even if their work-related injury is a worsening of a pre-existing condition or injury.
Often, the insurance companies that handle workers’ compensation claims are quick to dismiss any claims made by workers who have age-related health conditions, unrelated prior injuries or even old work-related injuries. If you or a loved one are suffering from a pre-existing condition, it’s important not to take “no” for an answer just because your job aggravated an old injury or illness.
It’s these types of difficulties that can make it important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney working for you. Make sure you’re covering all your bases. Contact the attorneys at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys today so that we can review your situation and fight on your behalf.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
What is a pre-existing condition?
A “pre-existing condition” (as it relates to workers’ compensation) is when a person previously suffered a medical illness or injury and their job exacerbates or revives this health condition. This is typically an illness or injury that you’ve received treatment for in the past. It’s possible to have a pre-existing condition from a previous occupational injury or an injury that wasn’t work-related.
Regardless of how your pre-existing condition happened, it should have little or no impact on your workers’ compensation claim.
If, however, you sustain a new injury after suffering from a significant pre-existing condition (or injury), the situation can become more complicated with regard to which injury your employer is responsible for treating, which injury your insurance will provide coverage for, and your eligibility for disability benefits if you can’t return to work.
Common types of pre-existing conditions that get aggravated by work
Old injuries can be aggravated by a new workplace injury. These injuries could have initially been caused by a sports injury, a car accident or even a previous work-related injury. Common examples of pre-existing conditions include:
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder and elbow injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Disc or spine degeneration (degenerative disc disease)
- Herniated discs
- Carpal tunnel
- Previously broken bones
Georgia workers’ compensation law & pre-existing conditions
It’s important to know that if you were previously awarded workers’ compensation for a workplace injury and are once again suffering from either a worsening or aggravation of the original injury, it’s possible you may not be eligible to file a new workers’ comp claim. However, you may be able to re-open your previous case with the help of an experienced attorney. Reopening an old workers’ compensation case can mean opening up a whole new can of worms though, which is why you’ll want an experienced workers’ comp attorney working for you.
It’s also worth noting that your benefits in Georgia cannot be limited due to an unrelated pre-existing condition. This means if you were previously compensated for aggravations relating to asthma due to breathing chemicals at your job, you can still collect a workers’ compensation payout from a workplace burn injury or slip and fall.
Why work injury claims involving pre-existing conditions are more challenging
It can be difficult to prove that a pre-existing condition was genuinely irritated or worsened by work-related activities or tasks. It takes a strong legal argument to make the case that the type of work you were doing did in fact make your pre-existing condition worse. As we’ve discussed above, there can be many reasons why opening a new case, or reopening an old one, is tricky business.
For more information on workplace injuries and other frequently asked questions about Georgia workers’ compensation and disability benefits, visit our FAQs page.
Types of injuries covered by Georgia workers’ compensation claims
If you’re injured on the job, you should know that you have certain rights, benefits and responsibilities.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Why hire an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer
If you think your insurance company or employer is attempting to use a related or unrelated pre-existing condition to deny you from receiving benefits, speak with an attorney immediately as that could be considered workers’ comp fraud.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have the skills and knowledge needed to investigate the facts surrounding your situation and gather all the necessary documentation to prove your condition is work-related. In many cases, timing is of the essence, so act now.