Can You Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits If You Have A Preexisting Condition?
Ryan Zavodnick | December 22, 2015 | Workers' Compensation
What does it mean to be injured at work? The answer is a lot more complicated than it may seem at first glance. If you suffered a trauma, such as a broken leg after falling off of scaffolding you probably don’t need a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney to tell you that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws may provide workers’ compensation benefits not only for traumatic injuries but also for disability arising out of an aggravation of a preexisting orthopedic condition or disease. So what does it mean to suffer an aggravation of a preexisting orthopedic condition or disease?
Aggravation Of A Preexisting Orthopedic Condition
Chances are if you have worked your entire life as a laborer or CNA or any other physically demanding job you have been sore along the way. Nevertheless, you get up each day, put a smile on your face and do your job just like every other day. Until that one day where for whatever reason your back finally gives out on you, or the pain becomes so intense that you simply cannot continue doing your job. People are injured at work in this type of situation more often than you probably realize.
The good news is, under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws you may be entitled to benefits. Your employer takes you as they find you and if you had a degenerative condition in your back or suffered a prior injury and then lifted a heavy item at work that caused a worsening of your condition, you have suffered a work injury under the law and are entitled to benefits. Additionally, even if there is no one inciting incident and instead you tear your rotator cuff in your shoulder as a result of your repetitive daily activities at work over a period of months or years, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you had prior shoulder problems or degenerative joint disease in your shoulder before starting your job.
Unfortunately, more often than not the workers compensation attorneys your employer hires argue that you were not hurt at work and that your current back complaints are just the natural progression of your condition. They usually hire doctors to perform an “independent medical exam” to back up their bogus story. Don’t despair, you know the pain you are feeling is not the every day soreness you have had as a result of your years of hard work for your employer, and so do we. That’s why our skilled team of Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers will fight to get you the wage loss and medical benefits you deserve.
Aggravation Of A Preexisting Non-Occupational Disease
In addition to an aggravation of a pre-existing physical condition being covered under the PA work comp laws, if you suffer from a preexisting general health conditions that is aggravated by your work, you may also be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you suffer from asthma and work in a dusty environment that makes your asthma worse and renders you unable to do your job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The law recognizes your right to recover benefits in these circumstances for the aggravation of your preexisting condition. We must caution you though that your benefits will cease if, after removing yourself from the work environment your condition returns to baseline, even though returning to work would again aggravate your condition. However, if your work activities actually caused you to develop occupational asthma or some other condition and that condition gets better when you are not at work but would recur if you returned to work, you would be entitled to continued benefits under the workers’ compensation laws in our state.
Contact An Experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today To Discuss Your Case
Work injury cases involving an aggravation of preexisting condition, especially preexisting diseases, can be complicated and it is best to consult with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney to determine if you suffered an injury at work and are entitled to benefits. The top workers’ compensation lawyers at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC have handled hundreds of workers’ compensation cases for clients who have become disabled as a result of an aggravation of a preexisting condition throughout the Philadelphia region.
If you have been hurt and your employer has told you that you cannot receive workers’ compensation because “you already had a bad back,” don’t take their word for it. Contact one of our experienced Philadelphia work injury lawyers today for your free case evaluation.