Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Workers Comp Claim?
While a pre-existing condition may not prevent you from working or performing certain tasks, dangerous work conditions and on-the-job accidents could make it worse. Unfortunately, your employer may attempt to use your prior condition as a way to deny your current workers compensation claim. In these situations, our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions
A pre-existing condition may take the form of a physical illness, such as having asthma, a prior history of heart ailments, or a degenerative disease such as arthritis. It can also be the result of a past accident. If you were previously hurt and suffered a back or neck injury or a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be more likely to re-injure the site in the future. Unfortunately, your employer and their insurers may attempt to use your pre-existing condition as a reason to deny your claim. However, the Missouri Department of Labor states that an employee’s pre-existing condition may be covered by workers’ compensation, provided it arises directly out of their employment. For example:
- You suffer a back injury in the past, either on the job or while engaged in other activities;
- Your injury recovers enough that it allows you to return to work;
- As the result of overuse or a job accident, your back injury worsens. This prevents you from working and requires additional medical care.
This is true even if your injury stems from a previous work related accident for which you receive workers’ compensation benefits. Provided your job is a prevailing factor in your current injury or illness, you would be entitled to compensation in a claim.
How Our Missouri Workers’ Compensation can Help
While you may be entitled to benefits for a pre-existing condition through the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), getting your claim approved can be a challenging process. As experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys, we aggressively defend the rights of workers in these types of cases, gathering evidence and taking the actions needed to get you the benefits you need to compensate you for medical expenses and lost wages. Efforts we can take on your behalf include:
- Obtaining statements from your doctor and gathering medical records about your preexisting condition;
- Reviewing employment records and consulting with industry experts regarding your job and how it impacts your illness or injury;
- Appearing on your behalf and arguing your case at DWC hearings;
- Filing appeals, in the event your claim is denied.
Contact Our Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
A pre-existing condition does not need to disqualify you from getting workers’ compensation benefits. In these situations, The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton acts as a strong legal advocate on your side. Call or contact our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys online and request a free consultation to see how we can help you today.