Title: How Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Workers’ Compensation
When someone is injured at work, they typically have protection under workers’ compensation. Does your coverage get complicated if you have a pre-existing condition? In some cases it does. The following explains the basics of how pre-existing conditions impact workers’ compensation.
Conditions Related to Prior Claims
If your pre-existing injury is the result of a prior workplace injury for which you were compensated under workers’ compensation, your current benefits will slightly be reduced. If you cannot work because of the injury, your employer will pay you time loss compensation. If you end up with additional medical bills, your employer will pay those as well.
Keep in mind those time loss compensation benefits won’t be the same when the claim closes. You will typically only receive compensation if your impairment has increased. If there has been no increase in medical costs, you may not receive additional compensation.
It’s possible your pre-existing condition isn’t reinjured. Perhaps you have an entirely new injury near the same location on your body. This will make a big impact on workers’ compensation, so be sure your doctor has all the documents needed to completely understand your previous injury.
Conditions Not Related to Prior Claims
If your pre-existing condition does not relate to a prior workers’ compensation claim, the payout may be the same. For example, if you injured your hip in a car accident, and you have reinjured it at work, you may only be entitled to compensation that will account for the worsening of the condition.
Something to keep in mind is there are medical professionals who deal with workplace injuries on a regular basis. They know what terminology to use and what to look for when evaluating working professionals, so it might be wise to seek for such a medical doctor.
It’s possible your pre-existing condition is unrelated to your current injury all together. For example, you may have gotten whiplash in a car accident years ago and have suffered neck and back problems ever since. Your new workplace injury could be the result of a forklift crashing into your legs, resulting in a broken femur. As you can see, the two injuries would not be related at all. Workers’ compensation would then cover your new injury, while your unrelated injury would continue to be covered by your personal health insurance or a car accident settlement.
Get Assistance From an Attorney
If you were injured on the job and have a pre-existing condition, your employer may try to get out of paying for your medical bills and lost wages. With a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you can strive to show the court you deserve that compensation for one or many reasons. Contact a Milwaukee work injury lawyer today.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation and pre existing conditions.