Can A Preexisting Conditions Affect Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you have been injured in an accident that occurred while you were at work and have a pre-existing illness, the fight for damages can get complex. Any condition that existed before the at-work injury can adversely affect the compensation benefits you receive. For example, if your knee was injured or you suffered from arthritis and the same knee was injured in the accident, the pre-existing illness will overlap the new at-work injury and your compensation amount will be impacted than someone who had a shoulder injured at work while had hip-surgery a couple of years ago.

Though your employer will pay for all your medical expenses, the worker’s compensation amount would be reduced slightly, taking into account the previous compensation you may have received for the pre-existing injuries. If you are unable to work after the accident, your employer will pay short-term disability benefits to tide over the loss of wages and work. You’ll still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits even if you had a preexisting condition when you got hurt. A good example: you have a healing broken leg that was hurt further when you were moving boxes around while at work. You’ll still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

Just don’t be surprised if the insurance company tries to use your preexisting condition as a justification to either avoid paying you a workers’ comp settlement or to substantially reduce your benefits. You and your lawyer will have to fight the insurance company tooth and nail in those instances.

Minor injuries

You may not receive much if any benefits if your injuries were minor. A good example would be a sprained arm while working. While this is an on-the-job injury, it is not serious enough to where you would need to seek major medical attention and accumulate major medical bills to treat it. You need to consult with a lawyer and see if your case holds merit. If the case is evaluated and the lawyer is certain that you will be compensated, only then the lawyer will take on the case.

Missed deadlines

You generally have a deadline to meet when filing a workers’ comp claim. Your personal injury lawyer in Santa Clara will inform you of that. You may not receive any benefits if you file after the deadline. It’s therefore in your best interest to file the claim as soon as possible. Trying to do it all alone does not help, as legal system is complex and difficult to navigate through. That is why it is important to hire a lawyer that has experience in such cases.

You can indeed get the money you deserve to recover from injuries you sustained while working. You just have to understand workers’ comp laws and hire a good personal injury lawyer.

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