How Can You Prove a Pre-Existing Condition was Aggravated by Your Job?
If a work accident or activity causes a new injury, the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical bills and wages should be fairly straightforward. However, if your work activity caused an existing medical condition or injury to get worse, the process can be significantly more challenging. In this situation, you should always have the help of an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney from the very start.
Many Employees Have Pre-Existing Conditions
Anti-discrimination employment laws prohibit companies from discriminating against applicants or employees with disabilities or medical conditions. As long as an employee can perform the job duties, pre-existing conditions should not be considered in employment decisions. This means that many people might be working with pre-existing conditions. When it comes to workers’ compensation benefits, employers should not consider whether an employee was more susceptible to workplace injuries than others. If a work-related injury occurs, an employee should receive benefits, regardless of whether they had weaknesses in their bodies that others did not have. However, it can become more complicated when an existing injury is exacerbated on the job.
Getting Benefits for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Condition
Imagine that you had a strained rotator cuff that did not prevent you from doing your job. One day, however, a work-related activity causes the strain to escalate to a torn rotator cuff that needed surgery. You would need to show the following in your workers’ compensation claim:
- Your rotator cuff was not previously torn
- Your work activity was the direct cause of the strain turning into a tear
If you can demonstrate the above to the insurance company, workers’ compensation should cover the costs of your surgery and other medical care, as well as provide wage replacement while you stay home and recover.
Pre-Existing Conditions Can Lead to Claim Denials
Even if you know that your work activity or accident aggravated an existing condition, do not be surprised if your claim is denied. Insurance companies often find reasons to deny claims when there is a pre-existing condition involved, so it is important to have legal representation during the claim process. Our attorneys can handle filing your claim or appealing a denial. We can:
- Provide medical records and other evidence of the state of your condition before it was aggravated
- Compile evidence that your job caused the aggravation of your pre-existing condition
- Show that you would not have needed the medical care you received if it had not been for your work activity
We handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company to obtain the benefits you deserve for your aggravated condition.
Contact an Experienced Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance
The law firm The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton handles complex workers’ compensation claims, including those involving pre-existing conditions. Contact us online or call us in Springfield at (417) 545-3775 or in Joplin at (417) 545-3775 for a free consultation with a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer.