Pre-Existing Conditions and Workplace Injuries
Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:
If an on the job injury aggravates a previous medical condition, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation. However, the injury must fit some specific requirements.
One qualification for worker’s compensation is the aggravation of a pre-existing condition due to a work accident. Say you have a bulging disk in your back and have a lifting accident at work that causes your bulging disk to become a herniated disk. This is an aggravation of your condition and qualifies for compensation.
Additionally, if a pre-existing condition worsens the effects of a work accident, you may have a case for worker’s compensation. For example, you have arthritis in your hip and have a fall on the job that worsens or makes your condition permanent. Though the fall wouldn’t necessarily injure someone without your condition, your arthritis worsens the effects of the fall. Therefore, you may be entitled to compensation.
In order to receive worker’s comp, the law also requires medical evidence that the accident has aggravated a pre-existing condition. A doctor’s opinion that an accident worsened an injury must be given in required, specific evidential language. It’s important to have an attorney because the language and specifics in cases like these can be very complicated.
Sometimes, an accident can so aggravate a pre-existing condition that it prevents the worker from being able to work again, in the same field or any other. This is what’s known as permanent and total disability.
The law regarding permanent and total disability recently changed, and now states that in order for an employer to compensate for permanent and total disability, an on the job accident must aggravate the specific condition or injury. An injury to a different part of the body will not qualify, even if it prevents you from working.
The requirements and specifics for worker’s compensation cases can be very complicated. If you have more questions, the John Price Law Firm can help. Contact us online or at (843) 552-6011.