Can a Pre-Existing Condition Impact a Workers’ Compensation Claim?March 11, 2020
If you are injured at work, you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, which will cover the costs associated with your injury. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, it could complicate your Workers’ Compensation claim. This is particularly true if your pre-existing condition is related to your workplace injury. Your employer is responsible only for the injury that you suffered at work. If your pre-existing injury affects the same body part that was injured at work, it may be difficult to prove that the injury was work-related. A skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you injured your knee in a previous workplace accident, and you injured the same knee at your current job, the benefits you will be able to collect for the new injury will be reduced slightly to account for your previous Workers’ Compensation claim. Your employer will be responsible for paying for the medical costs, including temporary disability benefits, associated with your new injury. However, it is important to understand that your permanent disability benefits may cover only the increase in permanent impairment. For example, if you are eligible for a $10,000 permanent impairment award, but you received $8,000 from a previous award, you will likely only receive $2,000 for your new claim.
Aggravated Injury versus Previous Work-Related Injury
If the injury affected a body part that had been injured in a previous work accident, tell your doctor about both injuries and provide a copy of your medical records from the previous claim. Your doctor will review this information and determine whether the most recent injury is an aggravated injury or a new, but related, injury. From a Workers’ Compensation perspective, this is an important distinction because you will need to fill out different paperwork, depending on the type of injury.
In some cases, an existing injury may have little to no impact on a Workers’ Compensation claim. For example, if you dislocated your shoulder at a previous job, this would likely have no bearing on your current claim if your injury involved another body part, besides the shoulder that was already injured. You may be required to see multiple providers so that you can continue to collect compensation for both injuries. If the previous injury and the current one prevent you from being able to return to work, either temporarily or permanently, your employer will have to determine your eligibility for a pension. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can assist you with these matters and ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Maximum Benefits for Injured Workers
If you were injured at work, and you have a pre-existing condition, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will help you with the claims process and secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve. Our dedicated team will address all your questions and concerns and ensure that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.