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Will a Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

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Posted By DAM Firm | March 7 2024 | Workers' Compensation

If you sustain a workplace injury or illness, you may be worried about whether or not a pre-existing medical condition could affect your current workers’ compensation claim. The truth is that preexisting conditions can complicate matters, but they shouldn’t. If you sustain an injury or illness caused by workplace activities, you should be eligible for compensation regardless of whether or not you have a pre-existing injury.

Your Pre-Existing Condition Should Not Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Your Pre-Existing Condition Should Not Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

There are various types of preexisting injuries that insurance carriers often look at to try and deny a workers’ compensation claim. Under California law, workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault type of insurance, meaning workplace injury victims should be able to receive compensation regardless of who caused the injury, so long as the incident arose while a person was performing job-related duties.

However, when an insurance carrier can point to a preexisting injury, they increase their chances of having the claim denied, which means they save money. Some of the most common preexisting conditions that could affect a claim include:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Tendonitis
  • Prior broken bones
  • Prior head trauma

An insurance carrier could use nearly any previous injury a person has sustained against them when they try to make a new workplace injury claim. However, in almost all circumstances, efforts by an insurance carrier to deny a claim because of pre-existing conditions are incorrect. 

Work injury victims should be able to receive full workers’ compensation benefits if they sustain a workplace injury, regardless of whether or not they have a similar pre-existing injury or if the workplace incident aggravated an injury. 

Can You Improve Your Chances of Recovering Compensation?

One of the best ways to improve your chances of having your claim accepted is to report the injury within the required reporting deadlines. In general, we recommend reporting a known injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible, the same day as it occurs if you can. Under California law, workers have 30 days to report a workplace injury to their employers, but waiting that long is not advised.

By promptly reporting an injury and seeking immediate medical care, you can significantly improve your chances of recovering compensation, even if you have a pre-existing injury that could affect the process.

Workers’ Compensation Issues – Do You Need an Attorney?

If you have sustained a workplace injury but are struggling to receive the compensation you are entitled to, you may need to reach out to a San Bernardino workers compensation attorney for help. If the insurance carrier has denied your claim and you think they did so because of your preexisting medical condition(s), an attorney needs to get involved and represent your best interests moving forward. Workers should never have to worry about whether or not they will receive compensation for an injury sustained while performing job-related duties, even if they have sustained a similar injury in the past.

Let an attorney get involved on your behalf so you can move forward with the compensation you are entitled to.