When a worker has an accident, but has prior health conditions, can the worker still recover workers’ compensation? This is a common dilemma that many workers face, especially older individuals who are beginning to experience medical problems as they age. But having a preexisting injury does not prevent a worker from being able to recover compensation for their injuries. The law does allow employees to seek benefits for old injuries that have been aggravated or were worsened by an accident on the job.
California workers’ compensation law covers:
- New injuries caused by a work-related incident
- Aggravation of pre-existing injuries caused by a workplace accident
The law does NOT cover:
- Injuries that are self-inflicted
- Injuries not caused at work or while performing a work-related duty
The workers’ comp process can be complicated, so if you have questions about whether your condition is eligible, don’t hesitate to contact our Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at Humphrey & Associates.
How Do I Determine If an Old Injury Has Been Aggravated?
It can be difficult to separate an old from a new injury. The law outlines several factors that can help you determine if your old injury is eligible.
Your preexisting injury is considered “aggravated” if it meets the following conditions:
- You experienced a temporary or permanent increase in disability
- You require new medical treatment for your condition
- You required a change in your current treatment for your condition
Proving a Claim Involving Preexisting Injuries
You must be able to submit extensive medical records that document your prior injuries and your current injuries. Make sure that you undergo medical examinations with a qualified physician and continue to receive the recommended treatment for your condition.
Having medical records and medical testimony from healthcare providers who treated you is critical to presenting a strong claim to insurers.
The Importance of Disclosing Your Past Injuries
You should always be upfront about any injuries you have had in the past because insurers can use your lack of disclosure against you. Inform your doctors and your attorney about your old injuries so they are able to understand the extent of your case and help you prepare an effective claim.
At Humphrey & Associates, we have had extensive success helping clients recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they need after a work accident. We have been through the process many times and are familiar with a wide range of complicated claims. When you need trusted, experienced, and proven guidance for your claim, turn to our Orange County workers’ comp lawyers today.
We have offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. If you can’t make it to us, we can travel to you for our appointment. Consultations are free of charge.