Pre-Existing Conditions and Workers’ Comp Basics

Workers’ Comp Claims

Workers’ compensation is something individuals are entitled to as protection while on the job. What happens if you get hired with a pre-existing condition that is further aggravated by the job? Are you entitled to workers’ compensation, or will your claim get denied? Every situation is different, but the following are some basics you may want to become familiar with as you discuss your circumstances with a lawyer.

What It Takes to Be Eligible to File a Claim

Any time someone goes to file a workers’ compensation claim, they have to meet a few specific requirements. This goes for someone without pre-existing conditions, as well as someone with a pre-existing condition. Those requirements go as follows.

  • The injured person cannot be an independent contractor, seasonal employee, temporary worker, or other similar type of employee. He or she must be hired by the company with a full or part-time position with the company, and the company must govern his or her hours and wages.
  • The injured person should be able to prove the injury or illness happened during the course of his or her employment.
  • The injured person’s employer must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Some businesses are not required to have it, depending on the size of the company and the state from which it runs.

When Pre-Existing Conditions Play a Role

When your injury or illness meets the above requirements, but you have a pre-existing condition related to your injury, things could get messy. Though there are ways to still receive what you deserve, many claims are denied when a previous injury exists. With the help of an attorney, you can work your way through the mess and hopefully come out victorious on the other side.

Consider someone who was previously treated for a lower back injury. His or her current employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of a previous injury. If he or she is qualified for the job, he or she has a right to take it. Perhaps the new job involves a lot of lifting and his or her back goes out again, requiring medical attention and time off work. The employer might argue the condition already existed and that the employee shouldn’t receive compensation, but the employee would argue the condition had gotten better and didn’t flare up again until performing his or her duties for the new job.

Receiving Legal Representation

As you can see, it’s not a black and white situation when you’re dealing with pre-existing conditions and workers’ compensation. If you find yourself dealing with this, contact a workers’ compensation attorney, like a Newark workers’ compensation attorney, to learn more about what you are entitled to and how you can get it.

Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation and pre-existing conditions.