If you are working, you probably have heard of workers’ compensation. This is the system that allows workers to receive compensation for any and all injuries sustained while doing their jobs. If a work-related responsibility resulted in you paying medical bills or missing multiple days of work, you are entitled to be compensated for the amount you lost. For many workers, things might become a bit more confusing when the injury in question already existed and was simply aggravated. Learn everything you need to know about existing injuries and workers’ comp.
How Existing Injuries Work
There are very few differences between existing injuries and new injuries when it comes to workers’ comp. Both are covered and you should be able to receive full compensation for your expenses, even if the injury was initially sustained years ago. The key is that some work-related activity tangibly made the injury worse to the point that medical expenses had to be made. Making an existing injury worse is not cause for workers’ comp to start covering monthly medical expenses that you were already making. Worker’s comp would only cover new expenses resulting from an existing injury.
For example, let’s say you broke your leg two years ago. Today, you were unloading a truck for your job and you aggravated the injury and had to go to the hospital and additional pins were surgically put in. Workers’ comp is supposed to cover the cost of the operation completely.
On the other hand, let’s say that leg injury saw you taking pain meds every day. The aggravation of the injury would not allow workers’ comp to begin covering your pain meds.
Proving Existing Injuries Are Eligible
If you want to claim the aggravation of an existing injury, you need to be able to prove that the injury was really worsened as a direct result of work-related activities. If your employer or the workers’ comp board has reason to believe the injury would have been worsened regardless of what you were doing, they will deny your claim. This can be a difficult matter to prove, but it can be done. It may be beneficial for you to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer for this matter. A legal professional will be able to tell you what proof in necessary for your case. Additionally, each state’s regulations are slightly different. A workers’ comp lawyer will know exactly how the laws work in the exact state that you work in, which is vital.