If a worker is hurt on the job but the injury exacerbated a previous condition, it could make the workers’ compensation claim more complicated, but it will not erase eligibility. For example, if a worker hurt their shoulder during a home improvement project but the injury was worsened at work, they should still be able to collect benefits.
Depending on the situation and injury, the fact that there was a less-severe injury prior to the more debilitating injury could impact a claim and reduce the award. This will be determined by a case-by-case basis. If an award is reduced, a doctor may need to review medical records from the previous injury if any exist. If the injury was not documented, the doctor may need to gather additional information from the worker about the injury.
If the previous work injury has another workers’ compensation claim associated with it, then it will be taken into account. It is likely that the worker will only receive compensation associated with the new claim. For example, if the worker was previously injured in the same way and received $5000 in compensation, but a doctor now determines the total award should be $10,000, they might only receive another $5,000. If the new injury does not involve the same body part as the previous claim, this will likely change the outcome.
What if it is an Unrelated Injury?
If an employee has a pre-existing injury or condition that is unrelated to the injury that happened at work, it will not normally have an impact on a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if an employee suffers from depression and then suffers a back injury at work, that will not have any bearing on whether the worker collects workers’ compensation. Injuries or conditions will be evaluated separately.
If the new injury combined with the previously existing condition now renders a worker permanently disabled, it could have implications for the employee’s pension.
Contacting a Lawyer for Help
If an employee has a work-related injury, regardless if they have a pre-existing condition, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. In some situations, injured workers can also be entitled to additional types of recovery. In order to receive the correct amount of benefits after a work accident, it is important to hire a lawyer. A lawyer will evaluate the worker’s case and protect their rights to compensation.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Provide Legal Assistance to Injured Employees
Our Downingtown worker’s compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC assist injured employees with benefits. A pre-existing injury can complicate a case, and we will make sure you obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.