A pre-existing condition, in terms of workers' compensation, usually refers to any condition you have before obtaining the job and that was not caused by the job itself. However, workers' compensation comes into play if your employer is aware of a pre-existing condition and does not accommodate your condition in some way or causes you to work a job that can aggravate or worsen your condition further.
What is a Pre-existing Condition?
Most medical providers and employers agree that pre-existing conditions are typically those that you have had before your employment and not as a result of your employment. A pre-existing condition is usually chronic, meaning that you would have it regardless if you were employed or not. This can be anything from epilepsy, anemia, diabetes, or other illnesses that are typically long-term as well. However, if you have been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, your employer will likely ask for proof from a medical provider to verify your diagnosis.
Previous Workers Compensation Claims
If you have any previous workers compensation claims regarding an injured body part that is now in question at your new place of employment, you may not receive as much as you would had this been a brand new injury. However, should your employer be aware that you were involved in a workers compensation claim in a previous place of employment but subjected you to similar work without adequate attention to your needs, you could still be entitled to some medical coverage if your pre-existing injury is further aggravated on the new job, from an old injury.
If you are on the job and have recently been terminated because of your pre-existing condition or as a result of your pre-existing condition, workers' compensation claims could be turned in your favor. Employers are typically not allowed to discriminate against employees on the grounds of pre-existing conditions, nor are they allowed to wrongfully terminate someone because they have one. Usually, most employers are aware of the conditions before hiring and take appropriate measures to accommodate. When this is not the case, however, workers' compensation can come into play.
When your worker's compensation claim gets denied, it can be stressful trying to assess your options further. However, denial is not the end of the case for you. We work with clients to further assess why their claims were ultimately denied and what can be done to legally dispute the denial. Often, claims are denied because of lack of evidence in the case or the statute of limitations has passed. For this reason, we recommend getting medical assistance as soon as you've been involved in a work-related accident and file your claim shortly after. This ensures that your statute of limitations does not pass within the period, and any issues regarding the case handling itself can be done by our attorneys in an organized and professionals manner.