Are Pre-existing Conditions covered under NYS Workers Compensation?
If you are in a workplace accident you will find the injuries, you sustain from the accident can be difficult to deal with on your own. Matters only get more complicated if you have a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies will try and use pre-compensation against you in a worker’s compensation claim. This is where an experienced Syracuse, New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help. They will help you get the compensation you are entitled to even if you have a pre-existing condition.
What is a Pre-existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition in a New York Workers’ Compensation claim is defined as a condition or injury that existed before being hurt in the workplace. To show an example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident several years ago. From that accident, you developed an injury that never fully healed. That injury would be a pre-existing condition.
A workplace accident may cause that injury to worsen or become aggravated. Often, insurance companies will try to make the point that the pre-existing condition is the cause of the pain or injury and not a workplace accident.
For many, they assume they won’t win a workers’ comp claim because of their pre-existing condition. That is wrong, you absolutely can win your claim for workers’ compensation regardless of a pre-existing condition.
Potential Issues with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
While the law does allow employees to recover from a pre-existing injury that has become worse or has been aggravated by a workplace injury, insurance companies are very skilled in finding ways to deny such claims.
- Pre-Existing Injury – Insurance companies will look through your medical history and employment history to determine whether the injury was caused by the workplace accident or if you pain/injury you are experiencing is caused by your pre-existing condition. Medical experts may also be brought in to review your medical and employment records detailing your difficulty working because of the previous condition.
- Your Pre-existing Condition Has Worsened – an injury that has become worse or has become aggravated can only be covered under the workers’ comp claim if it is related to the accident that has taken place on the job. Let’s say you had a knee injury but you suffered a broken finger on the job. It is not likely the broken finger could worsen your knee pain. In this instance, the insurance company would deny the claim even if your knee pain has worsened since you broke your finger.
- The pre-existing injury or condition that developed close to the time of the workplace accident – If you were to injure yourself in a close time frame to have a workplace accident. The insurance company will claim the pain and discomfort you are having are brought on by the pre-existing condition and that your old injury has not fully healed.
- Not Cleared Medically to Work – If you suffered an injury and were working against a doctor’s orders when the workplace accident occurred, your claim could be denied by the insurance company.
The Right Way to Process Workers’ Comp Claim with a Pre-existing Condition
If you have a pre-existing condition that has worsened from the injury sustained while on the job, there are some things you can do to better the results of your case.
- File your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible – Report your injury right away and file a claim as soon as possible after the accident or injury.
- Seek Medical Attention – Getting medical attention from an experienced workers’ comp doctor will help your case by documenting your injury if done soon after your accident.
- Inform Your Doctor of Pre-Existing Conditions – Let your doctor that is treating your workplace injury about your pre-existing injury or condition. Tell them about any symptoms or injuries that have worsened and changed since the accident.
- Follow Up with Your Pre-Existing Treatment Provider – If possible, it is a good idea to visit the doctor that treated or original condition or injury. By doing so, you have a record of any changes that you have experienced in your symptoms or injury since the accident.
Because of how insurance companies work. Getting an experienced Syracuse NY worker’s compensation lawyer is more than a good idea. It is a necessity to preserve your peace of mind. They are skilled in handling insurance companies and the tactics they use so they can deny your claim. A good workers’ compensation attorney in Syracuse, New York can interpret the laws to your benefit, and make sure your case is as successful as possible. If you have been injured in a workplace injury, don’t let an insurance company deny you for a pre-existing condition.