Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Health Conditions

February 2, 2016

When you are injured at work during the course of doing your job, you may be eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, which includes both compensation for partial lost wages and the medical expenses associated with your injury. If you have pre-existing health conditions that occurred prior to this work-related injury, it could cause a bit of complication especially if the new injury exacerbates or aggravates your older injury.

Is the pre-existing injury also an industrial injury?

If the old injury that pre-dates this new workplace injury was also an industrial injury, and the new injury aggravates the old injury, you can get approved for workers’ compensation in Philadelphia. Pre-existing conditions are taken into consideration when determining whether or not you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation for the new injury. One of the issues in question will be if performing your job duties or activities is what caused the new injury and aggravated the old injury.

There is a difference between aggravating an existing injury and sustaining a new injury in the same part of the body. If the new injury causes a lasting or permanent disability, you may be eligible for a permanent impairment award as part of your workers’ compensation claim. Make sure that when you see the doctor about the new injury, if it is a different doctor, let them know about the previous injury. They know how to evaluate your condition and examine your medical records to determine whether or not this is a new injury.

Is the pre-existing injury unrelated to your workplace injury?

What if you slipped a disc in you back while splitting wood on a camping trip last summer, and then at work your foot got caught and you broke your ankle and twisted your knee. Your new, work related injury will likely have no bearing on your pre-existing back injury. You will continue to see your regular doctor and your health insurance will take care of the medical expenses for your back injury, while you will see another doctor for your foot and knee injury sustained at work.

When you are dealing with an issue as complicated as pre-existing health conditions, you might want to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we have worked with hundreds of employees who have been injured on the job. We know how to work with your doctor and your employers’ insurer to make sure that you are getting the best compensation possible for your workplace injuries.

If you were denied workers’ compensation for a workplace injury because of pre-existing health conditions, you will likely have questions about your case, you may contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates. We are here help you get the compensation you deserve. From our offices throughout Pennsylvania we serve clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.