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Previous Injuries and How They Relate to Workers’ Compensation

Personal Injury Lawyer

Most workers in the nation have a right to workers’ compensation if they are injured while performing duties of their job. There are some exceptions, but many people qualify. If you have been injured on the job, but have an existing injury, you may wonder how that will affect your workers’ compensation claim. The following should help clear things up, though you should speak with an attorney for further clarification.

Previous Conditions Not Related to Your New Injury

Imagine for a moment you have a previous condition, such as a back injury, that you sustained in a car accident five years ago on vacation. Your current work injury might be having your hand amputated when a particular machine at work malfunctioned. You can see how the two incidents and injuries are not related at all. Medical appointments for your previous back injury would still be covered by your personal health insurance, and you would be compensated for medical bills related to your new hand injury through workers’ compensation.

Previous Conditions Related to Your New Injury

Now imagine you sustained a back injury while at work in a warehouse because you had to lift a certain amount of weight over and over again. You may have filed a workers’ compensation claim for it at that time, receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. If you are now back at work and re-injure your back doing the same types of lifting tasks, you could continue to receive workers’ compensation, though it may be adjusted to account for both the previous and new injuries.

There are other situations in which you would have a previous condition that was re-injured or aggravated at work, though the first injury did not occur at work. In that case, you could be compensated for the worsening of the injury.

For example, you may be currently going to physical therapy for a shoulder injury incurred in a motorcycle accident, and your outlook is to go to therapy once per month for the next two years. A workplace injury might have caused that shoulder to flare up again, requiring an additional session each month for the next two years. Your personal health insurance would continue to pay for those first 24 visits, and workers’ comp could step in to cover the additional 24 visits.

Understanding Your Unique Situation

Each situation is unique and you should work hard to ensure you know how your previous injuries will affect your workers’ compensation claim. Contact a workers’ comp lawyer, like a workers compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, to begin that understanding.