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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

The Exacerbation of Pre-existing Injuries in a Workers' Compensation Case

The success of any workers' compensation claim depends largely on the victim's ability to prove that they sustained injuries while carrying out their duties. However, pre-existing conditions can throw a spanner in the works and complicate the matter, which is why understanding the effect they have on a work-related accident case is crucial.

This article will take a closer look at pre-existing conditions and compensation benefits to help claimants understand their rights.

What Is a Pre-existing Condition?

What Is a Pre-existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is any injury, disease, or health issue that an employee had before the work-related accident took place. It could be something obvious, such as a broken bone or neck injury. Less obvious illnesses, such as spine degeneration, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, can also be considered pre-existing conditions.

When a worker files a workers' compensation claim for an occupational injury or ailment, pre-existing illnesses could complicate that process.

It can raise concerns about whether the current injury or progression of the health issue is entirely work-related or partially attributable to the pre-existing ailment. When evaluating employee compensation and benefits, insurance companies and employers frequently consider how the job-related accident exacerbated the pre-existing illness.

Examples of Pre-existing Ailments

There are a number of pre-existing conditions or injuries that can affect a claimant's case. Here are a few examples:

  • Asthma. This illness involves the swelling and narrowing of the airways, causing the sufferer to have trouble breathing. Exposure to pollutants or allergens in a working environment could cause symptoms to worsen.

  • Chronic back pain. If a person has injured his or her back or has a pre-existing problem with back pain, this could be exacerbated by lifting heavy objects in an employment context.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. Suppose a staff member has carpal tunnel syndrome, which becomes worse because of repetitive strain. In that case, the effect that the work-related injury has had on the person's pre-existing condition must be taken into consideration.

Other examples include diabetes, arthritis, depression, heart disease, hearing loss, and vision impairment.

Does Workers' Compensation Cover Pre-existing Conditions?

The truth is that workers' comp benefits do not extend to pre-existing conditions. They do, however, apply when those conditions are exacerbated or worsened because of work-related activities or an accident that caused the employee harm.

Can an Employee Claim Workers' Compensation Benefits for a Pre-existing Condition?

As previously mentioned, employees in Columbus, Ohio, may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits if a job-related event significantly aggravates or exacerbates their pre-existing conditions or causes new symptoms. However, the process of obtaining compensation for pre-existing diseases can be complicated and depends on a number of factors.

It's important for claimants to remember that workers' comp in Ohio covers illnesses and injuries that occur as a result of or during employment. If an occupational accident aggravates or worsens a pre-existing ailment, the staff member may be entitled to benefits that include medical care, rehabilitation, and lost pay as a result of the exacerbation.

In order to obtain benefits for a worsened existing illness in Columbus, a worker must generally prove that the work-related accident significantly contributed to the deterioration of their health or the introduction of new symptoms.

This could include presenting medical documentation, such as objective diagnostic findings from attending doctors or specialists, which explain the causal link between a work-related occurrence and the worsening of the pre-existing ailment.

Navigating the workers' compensation procedure for existing illnesses usually requires the assistance of skilled legal specialists who can argue for the rights of the staff member and guarantee that they receive the benefits available under Ohio's workers' compensation legislation. For more information, work injury lawyers in Columbus Ohio may be able to help.

Tips for Filing a Successful Workers' Compensation Claim

Although challenging, obtaining workers' comp benefits for a pre-existing condition is not impossible. However, it is important for claimants to work with an experienced attorney who can help victims understand the law.

Here are a few tips that injured workers with existing ailments should keep in mind following a workplace accident:

Victims Should Always Be Upfront and Transparent

If an injured employee has a pre-existing condition, it is important that they declare this when filing a claim, as any attempt to conceal this fact could have an unfavorable outcome.

Consistency Is Key

When a person changes their story multiple times, it becomes incredibly hard to believe that they are genuinely deserving of compensation, which is why all claimants must aim to ensure that they remain consistent when describing their existing ailment.

The Injured Worker Should Offer a Detailed Account

The truth is that when a claimant is vague about their injuries, they risk losing their case. It's important that they offer in-depth information about their condition and how it changed as a result of the work-related accident.

How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help

How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help

Receiving workers' compensation benefits is often crucial for those who suffered injuries while executing their normal work duties. That's because medical treatment is often necessary, and bills can quickly mount. To make matters worse, injured workers often have to take a leave of absence while they recover.

This is why hiring an experienced lawyer becomes paramount.

Identifying the Causal Link

A workers' compensation lawyer can be quite helpful in cases involving existing medical conditions because they are able to navigate the complexities of the law. They can collect information, such as healthcare records and objective clinical findings from medical experts, to determine the causal link between workplace accidents and the worsening of pre-existing ailments.

Negotiating and Representing the Victim

Advocates can also negotiate with insurance providers to secure reasonable recompense for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost pay due to the exacerbated condition. They can represent the staff member in hearings or appeals if their claim is contested, fighting for their rights and increasing the probability of a positive outcome.

Providing Much-needed Support

Finally, workers' compensation attorneys can help ease the stress and anxiety that come with negotiating the legal system to obtain workers' comp benefits for pre-existing conditions. They can also help with questions such as what is the best way to report a work injury?

Larrimer & Larrimer Is Here to Help

It's important for claimants to have a reliable lawyer on their side when faced with pre-existing injuries in a workers' compensation case. Larrimer & Larrimer is an experienced team of advocates who have been fighting for employees' rights since 1929.

If a workplace injury has exacerbated an existing ailment, victims can rest assured that they will have a trustworthy legal advisor on their side, fighting for their rights when they choose Larrimer & Larrimer to represent them.

To learn more, injured workers can call to talk to a professional attorney and get reliable advice.

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