Aggravation of Preexisting Conditions
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Coral Springs, FL
There are many occupations that require substantial physical exertion from employees, but even occupations that involve working in an office can pose severe risks to workers. Any time a person is required to perform repetitive tasks or motions over a long period of time, his or her body experiences sustained wear and tear. This type of activity, or even an isolated accident, can wreak havoc on a worker’s pre-existing conditions, particularly when it comes to back pain, neck pain, and other soft tissue injuries. Knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney Adam Baron has guided many people in Naples and other South Florida cities through the process of pursuing compensation from their employer’s insurer.
Seeking Benefits for the Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition
After suffering an accident or illness at work, the first thing you should do is report it to your employer so that it can initiate a claim with its workers’ compensation insurance company. After the claim is opened, the first thing the insurer will likely do is ask you to submit to a medical examination from a pre-approved doctor. This examination will guide the insurer in determining the nature and extent of your injuries, which in turn shapes the amount of benefits that you are awarded.
A preexisting injury is one of the most important considerations for the insurance company and the medical examiner. According to Florida law, a preexisting injury is defined as a condition, disorder, congenital abnormality, disease, or occupational disease that the worker experienced before the claimed injury took place, and that also contributed to the claimed work injury. The law provides that the preexisting condition must have contributed substantially to the work-related incident. It cannot simply render the worker more susceptible to injury or the need for treatment.
An employer is only liable for the worsening of your preexisting condition and is not required to compensate you for any symptoms or conditions arising from the situation as it existed when you began working for the employer. Many insurance companies may attempt to deny a claim based on a preexisting condition even when the condition is not related to the job-related injury that gave rise to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In this scenario, the burden of proof is on the injured worker to show that he or she experienced a compensable work-related injury that constituted an aggravation of a preexisting condition. If a preexisting injury is involved in a claim for benefits, the condition is compensable only if the work-related accident or illness is the major contributing cause of the claim for benefits.