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How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Workers’ Compensation

As someone who is injured on the job, you might begin to wonder what is covered by workers’ compensation. If you have a pre-existing condition, can you get those medical expenses paid for? As a workers’ compensation lawyer Philadelphia PA from a law office like the Wieand Law Firm can explain, the following outlines how pre-existing conditions affect workers’ compensation.

Aggravating an Injury From a Previous Workers’ Comp Claim

When you aggravate an injury from a previous workers’ compensation claim, it’s possible your claim will be reduced a small amount. Workers’ compensation will still cover all of your medical bills, but there is a slight calculation that must be made first. For example, if the new aggravation results in a $10,000 permanent impairment award, but your original injury gave you an $8,000 award already, you will only receive the difference, or $2,000.

It’s possible your aggravated injury isn’t worse at all. If a doctor determines that there will be no additional care required, you may not receive any additional award. It’s also possible the injury is actually an entirely new injury, but close to the previous injury. For example, you might have injured your knee previously, but now you’re dealing with a problem in your calf without realizing they’re separate. You could get a whole award for the new injury if it’s determined to not be an aggravation.

Aggravating an Injury From a Separate Injury

Imagine you have an existing injury that was aggravated by your job, but the injury wasn’t part of an ongoing workers’ compensation claim. Instead of being compensated for the entire injury, you would again only be compensated for the amount of which the injury was worsened. A doctor will need to evaluate your injury to make this determination.

Injuring an Unrelated Body Part

If you have a pre-existing condition and your new injury has nothing to do with that previous injury, chances are you will have full access to complete compensation for the new injury. Your employer will be required to pay the medical bills for the industrial conditions related to the new issue.

For example, you might have back problems that make it hard to lift heavy items. During the course of your work, you lifted something and dropped it on your foot when you felt the pain in your back. Although the back pain caused you to drop the heavy item on your foot, you would only be eligible to have medical costs related to your foot injury paid for. Your back would be your own issue to personally deal with.

Obtaining Workers’ Compensation

If you have been injured on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. To obtain what you feel you deserve, get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney today.


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