Can I Get Workers’ Comp If My Current Job Aggravated My Existing Back Pain?
Do you have a pre-existing back pain that worsens in your current workplace? You probably want to claim workers’ compensation to cover treatment and your time off work.
The thing is that it’s complicated to claim benefits for an aggravated pre-existing health problem. Your employer’s insurance carrier may deny your claim by proving that your back pain didn’t result from workplace factors.
However, that should not stop you from claiming the benefits you deserve by knowing a few vital points.
When Can You Claim Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ comps are benefits that employees can claim if they sustain work-related injuries and illnesses. It covers essential financial assistance like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and opportunities
- Vocational and rehabilitation benefits
- Death benefits
However, you cannot claim workers’ comp if you sustain an injury outside your job.
For example, you sustain back injuries after falling down the stairs in your home. You cannot claim workers’ comp even if you need a few days off from work because of your injuries.
Now, what if you have pre-existing back pain that worsens because of certain workplace factors?
Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions and Workers’ Comp
Pre-existing conditions are previous health problems that a worker already has before sustaining the injury presented in their workers’ comp claim, like:
- Congenital or hereditary defects
- Acquired health problems
- Injuries resulting from particular activities
For example, you sustained a back injury because of a car accident. After a few months, you were hurt on the same spot while at the workplace, which aggravated your previous condition.
Pre-existing conditions matter in a workers’ comp claim because they can make an employee more susceptible to injuries.
As a result, many insurance providers deny a claim if they prove an employee suffers from pre-existing health problems. They may argue that the primary cause of the injury wasn’t work-related.
However, a professional Burbank workers’ compensation attorney can defend your claim and prove that the aggravation has a work-related cause.
When You Can Claim Workers’ Comp for an Aggravated Pre-Existing Back Pain
Remember these vital points when claiming workers’ comp while considering pre-existing conditions:
- You can claim compensation for a work-related aggravation of injuries or health problems. However, the law treats the injury aggravation as a new injury, which means the benefits won’t cover the pre-existing health issue.
- You cannot claim compensation if the symptoms of your pre-existing condition simply flairs up while you work. For example, your back injury becomes unbearable while you’re working under normal circumstances.
- You can claim another set of benefits while enjoying an earlier compensation. For example, you are enjoying workers’ comp for a previous back injury, and another workplace accident had aggravated your condition. You can file another workers’ comp case for your new injury.
Determining Compensation Amount While Considering Pre-Existing Conditions
Some significant factors affect the amount of your workers’ comp benefits, like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Partial or total disability
The thing is that the calculations would be different if a pre-existing condition is involved. You will only get a portion of the total amount, depending on the contribution of the pre-existing condition to your injury.
For instance, the physician finds that a pre-existing herniated spinal disc is 40% at-fault for your current aggravated injury. That means you will only receive 60% of the total compensation amount.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Burbank for Your Aggravated Back Injury
Claiming workers’ comp for aggravated back pain is challenging because it involves pre-existing conditions.
However, you can still get the compensation you deserve to cover injury-related expenses. Consult a Burbank workers’ compensation attorney to optimize your claim.