If you sustain an injury while you are working, Florida’s Workers Compensation has an insurance system that should cover your claim. This system was designed to provide protection to employers from lawsuits for accidents in the workplace while offering injured employees medical care or any other benefit they might be needing while they recover from their work-related injury.
The process for workers compensation claims should be relatively straightforward, however, there are many times when it isn’t. Insurance companies are well known for looking for a way to reject claims. Brandon, Florida workers compensation pre-existing injuries and conditions are one of the defenses they like using.
When an insurance provider is able to point out a previous injury or pre-existing condition, they can claim that your current condition or injury resulted from your prior condition or injury, rather than the accident that occurred at work. If they are successful, they could reject your compensation benefits.
Work Injury Rights can assist you when it comes to securing the benefits or payouts you deserve. Contact us today at [Phone] to speak with one of our skilled attorneys. Our workers compensation lawyers will assist you with collecting the evidence needed to fight an insurance carrier’s pre-existing condition or injury defense.
What Are Pre-Existing Conditions And Injuries?
A pre-existing condition will mean any congenital abnormality, disease, injury, personal disorder (or any other similar condition) that is contributing to the requirement for treatment or a disability.
In general, pre-existing conditions are medical conditions that a worker already had before a claim for an occupational disease or a work injury, and that this contributed to the disease or injury. With the latest definition and law, these are conditions that have to be accounted for during determining whether a workers compensation claim is going to be covered.
Of these changes in the definition, a consideration regarded as most important involves that a “purported” pre-existing condition has to now “contribute to” a minimum of 51% of the requirement for treatment or the disability, and not just “predispose” workers to the requirement for treatment or disability.
This is known as a “Major Contributing Cause” and is frequently used by insurance providers to reject claims. In many cases, these rejections are not correct and this is why you should contact a workers compensation law firm to help you with your case when you have a pre-existing condition in Brandon, Florida.
Under Florida Laws, Does A Pre-Existing Injury Or Condition Disqualify You From Filing For Workers Compensation?
When a worker who is injured already has a pre-existing injury or condition, the courts in Florida first look at the MCC (Major Contributing Cause) in order to decide whether the injury should be covered by workers compensation benefits. This means that your pre-existing condition can’t be the MCC of your current injury or medical condition. This means the MCC has to be an injury that occurred at your place of work.
Therefore even when your pre-existing injury or condition and your latest injury or condition or injury is similar, it doesn’t mean your benefits should be denied. The insurance carrier will be required to provide evidence that the pre-existing condition or injury equates to 51% or more of the overall cause of your disability or requirement for medical treatments.
What Obstacles Might I Face With A Workers Compensation Claim When Trying To Prove My Pre-Existing Condition Has Become Worse?
If you already have a preexisting condition or injury, filing a claim for workers compensation can become a lot more difficult. This is even more true when the condition or injury relates to your claim. However, an existing pre-existing condition doesn’t disqualify you automatically from going after workers comp coverage. It only makes the claim a bit harder to prove.
Pre-existing injuries that include neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, torn ligaments, broken bones, and herniated discs, along with medical or general health conditions that include carpal tunnel, age-related spine degeneration, anxiety, arthritis, depression, or anxiety, doesn’t mean you are disqualified from using workers compensation even when your claim relates to the same condition or injury.
Florida’s workers comp will cover injuries associated with pre-existing conditions or injuries as long as workplace conduct has resulted in a “new injury” that has now aggravated your pre-existing condition.
Here is an example:
A physical therapist is suffering from arthritis that has affected her lower back. While on the job, she tries to assist a patient to get into bed, causing a disc in her lower back to herniate or bulge. Due to the injury to the disc in her back, she cannot return to work.
The bulging disc is regarded as a “new injury” which resulted from a workplace activity, despite the fact that it is associated with her pre-existing condition. The law in Florida will want to know if the injury is new and whether ” there is a change required for the existing treatment or new need for medical attention” which was caused by a “new activity” in the workplace. When this can be proven, the injury will be called an “aggravation”. The aggravation in the example above would then qualify the physical therapist for workers compensation.
How Can You Protect Your Workers Compensation Claim?
To ensure that you make the most out of your workers compensation claim, here are the steps you should be following:
- Report the accident to either your supervisor or employer immediately. The deadline for reporting the accident is 30 days.
- Seek medical treatment or attention as soon as possible.
- Retain copies of every current medical record and start collecting documentation and information that relates to your preexisting condition.
- If your insurance company or employer requests an IME (Independent Medical Examination) comply with this request.
Since having to defend a “pre-existing defense” can become complicated, you should contact a skilled Brandon, FL workers compensation lawyer. The team of WorkInjuryRights attorneys has the experience and know-how to help you fight your case.
The insurance carrier will do its best to reject your claim. Hiring a lawyer that works with workers compensation claims is one of the best steps you can take to fight for what you rightly deserve.
Call A Brandon, Florida Workers Compensation Attorney Today
Work Injury Rights is a law firm that is dedicated to helping victims of workplace injuries in Florida to receive fair compensation for any damages or losses. We are not your average law firm. Our team of attorneys has extensive experience when it comes to dealing with workers comp cases. Handling On The Job Injuries is something that we excel at.
Our law practice welcomes challenges that difficult cases offer when it involves complex issues such as Brandon, Florida workers compensation pre-existing injuries, and conditions.