Will a Pre-Existing Injury Prevent You from Recovering Workers’ Compensation?
Black and Davison
In Pennsylvania, when you have been hurt on the job, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove two things: that you were hurt and that the injury occurred while you were working. What happens, though, if you had suffered an unrelated injury in the past, off the job, and you have an accident at work that causes that old injury to flare up? Can your employer deny you benefits because the original injury was not work-related?
In Pennsylvania, an injured worker cannot be denied workers’ compensation benefits solely because the injury relates to a pre-existing medical condition. If the old injury never healed, and that’s was causing your current disability, you may find it difficult to get your claim approved. However, if it’s an aggravation of a prior injury, you may be able to recover benefits.
The key, in most cases, is whether you can show that some current activity or accident at work made the condition worse. If you played baseball in college and suffered a torn rotator cuff, limiting movement in your shoulder, you may not be able to recover workers’ compensation if you take a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting and you experience pain in the old injury. However, if you fall at work or are involved in some traumatic accident that causes new pain or injury, that claim may be approved.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
The workers’ compensation process can be complex and intimidating, and many legitimate claims are initially denied. Don’t risk the denial of benefits to which you are entitled. Send us an e-mail or call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your rights related to a workplace injury. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.