Suffering an injury at work and dealing with the aftermath of doctors’ appointments, paperwork, bills that keep piling up, and more can be extremely difficult. When you suffer an injury and you also have a pre-existing condition, the battle to obtain the benefits you need and deserve may be challenging and stressful. However, a pre-existing condition does not mean that you will not be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
If an injury you suffered in the past recurs or becomes worse, it is considered a new injury. A large majority of workers have pre-existing conditions, or conditions that develop over time, and yet they continue to work. When an injury becomes insufferable and reduces your mobility or makes it impossible to continue working because the work you do aggravates your injury, it should be covered under your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The following are questions that may be asked of you if you file a claim for Workers’ Compensation for a pre-existing injury:
- Did you have problems with your pre-existing condition before you became injured at work?
- Has your range of motion diminished around your pre-existing condition since the injury?
- Has the pain traveled to a different area of the same injury?
- Was there a sound, such as a pop or a tingling sensation that occurred with your new injury?
- Since your recent injury, has the pain that you experienced prior become worse?
If your injury is due to a previous work-related injury for which you are already receiving Workers’ Compensation, and your condition is aggravated or has contributed to a separate condition, then you should be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. If your condition is not related to an earlier Workers’ Compensation claim, but has contributed to a current injury, then it can get complicated. It is possible, however, that you may still be covered if you approach your claim in the right way.
Beginning the Claim
If you are injured at work after suffering a prior work-related injury, or after a non-work-related injury, your Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help. You must notify your employer and immediately see a physician. Your doctor will ask for a complete history of your medical conditions, along with any problems you have experienced since your work injury. It is important that you do not hide or unintentionally omit information on earlier injuries when you talk to your healthcare providers.
Your Employer Must Accept You as You Are
Where Workers’ Compensation benefits are concerned, it is not up to your employer to determine if you were more likely to suffer a long-term injury from a workplace accident than someone else. In other words, if you came to your job with an existing condition or a weakness that made you more susceptible to injury, that does not exclude you from filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, even if an incident would not have harmed a healthier individual.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Clients with the Claims Process
It can be challenging and confusing to navigate the Workers’ Compensation system, but we can help. We will work diligently to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled. Please call a Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP at 856-761-3773 today or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. Our office is centrally located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout the state.