• Pre-Existing Conditions
  • January 12, 2018
  • When employees are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, they are usually covered under their employer’s Workers’ Compensation plan. However, if an employee has a pre-existing condition, a claim for Worker’s Compensation benefits may be denied if the employee’s only injury is one that is pre-existing, and not a new or aggravated injury. Pre-existing conditions can include:

    Herniated disks
    Broken bones
    Torn ligaments
    Poor general health
    Arthritis
    Age-related spine degeneration
    “But-for” Rule
    In a Workers’ Compensation claim, a pre-existing condition may become an allowed condition if the injury or illness may not have been sustained had it not been for the employee’s job requirements. For example, if a worker with a pre-existing back injury is loading cargo onto a truck, causing his back injury to flare up, the loading of the cargo is what caused the worker’s pain, not the previous back condition. “But-for” the loading of cargo onto the truck, the pre-existing condition would not have been aggravated.

    Benefits
    Workers with pre-existing conditions are entitled to the same benefits as anyone else injured at work. Regardless of whether a previous injury has healed or not, as long as workers do not ignore their doctor’s recommendations, they are entitled to the same benefits as any other injured employee.

    Denied Claims
    Insurance companies will often look for a reason to deny a claim. The insurance adjuster assigned to a case will meticulously go through a worker’s medical background looking for any evidence of false information. Workers should not try to hide facts, even if they think it will negatively affect their claim. This can backfire, resulting in the claim being denied altogether.

    Workers should provide as much information as possible about any pain or discomfort they are experiencing and whether they had any symptoms prior to the injury. It is common to be investigated by multiple doctors. Workers should always provide the same information about their symptoms, their level of pain and how it is affecting their ability to work. This consistency will improve their chances of a successful claim.

    Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross Help Injured Workers Seek the Benefits They Deserve
    If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross. Call 267-589-0090 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, allowing us to serve Pennsylvania and New Jersey.