An injury on the job is typically eligible for workers’ compensation, but there are some cases when workers’ compensation claims might be more challenging. If you have a pre-existing injury, you should understand how that injury could affect your claim.
There are key considerations that affect your claim with a pre-existing injury.
Does the pre-existing injury affect your workers’ compensation claim?
During the review of your workers’ compensation claim, any pre-existing injury is a factor. The doctor will determine if the pre-existing injury made you more susceptible to the condition that led to the workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, a pre-existing injury contributes to the severity of subsequent injuries, such as when a chronic back condition makes you more vulnerable to a slipped disc.
Can your doctor provide evidence that there is no connection?
In many cases, a pre-existing injury could be clearly unrelated to your workers’ compensation claim. For example, a pre-existing injury to your wrist is not connected to a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury. Your doctor can provide evaluations that illustrate the independence of each condition.
Will treating your workers’ compensation injury affect your pre-existing injury?
Sometimes, the treatment required for your workers’ compensation injury may worsen symptoms of your pre-existing injury. For example, physical therapy that strains an injured shoulder may be cause for concern.
Understanding how your pre-existing injury might affect your workers’ compensation claim can help you protect your claim and get the settlement you deserve. Your doctor can provide the medical records necessary to isolate your pre-existing injury from the injury connected to your workers’ compensation claim.