How does Workers' Compensation work with Preexisting Conditions? Most people don't go through life without accident, injury or illness. And for a lot of hardworking people, as we work and age we may develop aches and pains, some of which we never felt before. What is a work related injury or illness and what isn't many times is a fine line.
First what is Workers' Compensation. Generally speaking if you suffer an injury on the job you are entitled to payment for a percentage of your lost wages and payment of medical bills. due to your work injury. When we say preexisting condition we are referencing a health condition or illness that existed, you had, prior to your work injury.
Interestingly, a lot of people don't even know they had a pre-existing condition until they go to the doctor or hospital after their work injury. We have seen a various number of cases where someone bends over at work to pick something up, or falls, or suffers some type of work injury or trauma at work then gets testing for their work injury and finds out they have an underlying condition they didn't know about such as arthritis, or degenerative disc diseases, or degenerative changes on x-rays or mri's. Sometimes even cancer. Such conditions that are commonly referred to as pre existing. Or an individual may have a heart attack while shoveling coal, dirt or engaging in vigorous physical activity at work and is later told they have atherosclerosis. Rotator cuff tears, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee ligament tears are also examples of types of conditions that we have seen the workers' compensation insurance companies try to argue to the workers' compensation judges were preexisting conditions that should bar and injured employee from receiving workers' compensation.
Ultimately in a disputed case- one where the employers workers' compensation insurance company is contesting paying based on their belief or argument that someones debilitating health problems were preexisting- it is up to the workers' compensation judge to decide who to believe. In other words if you're medical expert witnesses support you that the cause of your condition and disability is due to your work injury and the employers insurance company has a medical expert saying your problems are preexisting conditions and not your work injury is the cause of your disability, then the judge will have to decide whose medical expert witness to believe.
If you or a loved one have questions about preexisting conditions and workers' compensation call or contact the experienced work injury lawyers at Dugan & Associates, Lawyers Representing Injured People, 1-800-772-5422. We fight for the check you deserve!