How Does a Pre-Existing Condition Affect Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Because a pre-existing condition can complicate your claim, it is important to have an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
Work-related injuries can significantly impact your overall health while sidelining your career and preventing you from providing for yourself and your family. Getting the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to plays a crucial role in your recovery. However, if your injuries involve a pre-existing medical condition, your claim could end up being denied. Our experienced New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorney wants you to be aware of your rights in this situation.
Florida Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 25% of people living in Florida suffer from some type of disability or per-existing medical condition. That amounts to roughly one out of every four people. While a previous injury or chronic health condition may not prevent you from working, it can complicate matters when on-the-job accidents occur.
Getting a workers’ compensation claim approved can prove challenging under any circumstances. This is particularly true when you are dealing with a work-related injury or illness on top of a pre-existing condition. Under Section 440.49 of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Statutes, you may still be entitled to benefits in the following situations:
- When the injury or illness is work-related or occurs in the course of performing job related duties;
- When you can prove that a work-related accident or job conditions are more than 50% responsible for your condition;
- When a pre-existing condition has nothing to do with your current injury or illness.
Protecting Your Rights to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In filing a claim for benefits through the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) when you suffer from a pre-existing condition, having the appropriate documentation is key to successfully resolving your claim. If your current claim results from an injury or chronic condition that was aggravated on the job, you will want to show the following:
- That your employer was aware of your condition;
- That you had been cleared by your doctor to perform certain duties or tasks;
- That your condition was being properly managed by medical professionals;
- That you were taking the appropriate precautions to protect yourself.
Be aware that under any circumstances, it is a common tactic for insurers to attempt to deny or downplay injuries as a way to avoid paying out on claims. If you submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits over a pre-existing condition that was aggravated on the job and it is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Get Our New Port Richey Workers’ Compensation Attorney On Your Side
When dealing with your employer, insurance companies, and the DWC over on-the-job injuries, it is important to have an experienced, board certified Florida workers’ compensation attorney on your side, protecting your rights and defending your best interests. Contact attorney Joseph Rooth at the Rooth Law Firm and request a consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you today.