Most employees take workplace safety as a given. But in reality, work injuries occur very frequently and almost every day. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to sustain an injury at work, you may qualify to receive workers’ comp benefits. These benefits can offer you the much-needed financial safety net you require to recuperate and move on with life. Even though workers’ comp should provide coverage for any injuries/illness suffered at work, what about pre-existing conditions?
There are instances when your claim may be rejected because of pre-existing injuries or conditions in Miami. Your employer and their insurance carrier may claim that your existing medical disorder is the cause for your injuries, and may push to deny disbursing your compensation benefits. It’s essential to keep in mind that your pre-existing condition may not necessarily bar your right to seek reimbursement.
All in all, receiving benefits if you have pre-existing conditions or injuries is an uphill battle. If you’re in this situation, our seasoned Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Work Injury Rights can discuss your unique case and determine the best course of action to take. We have expansive experience dealing with these sorts of cases so you can be sure that we’ll be able to assist. Call us at 954-833-5226 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. We can help!
What Are Pre-Existing Injuries and Conditions?
A pre-existing condition can be defined as a prior medical disorder that precedes the workplace accident at the center of your current workers’ compensation claim.
It is a condition or injury that has existed for a while now and can impact your ability to fulfill current job roles. This includes conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and a herniated disc. What can be classified as a pre-existing condition or injury is expansive, which is why it’s essential for employees afflicted with such disorders to know exactly what they are suffering from, and subsequently seek medical aid.
Under Florida Laws, Do Pre-Existing Conditions or Injuries Bar You From Filing for Workers’ Compensation Claims?
According to Florida’s compensation laws, employees suffering from pre-existing injuries or conditions are not barred from getting workers’ comp benefits. In fact, workers’ comp benefits should be awarded if the work-related injury exacerbated the pre-existing condition or injury in Miami, FL.
However, this doesn’t necessarily suggest that the procedure for getting reimbursement for old injuries is straightforward. Insurance companies are great at safeguarding their bottom line and will go out of their way to refute or contest your workers’ comp claim. A common strategy is to assert that the work accident did not have a significant impact on your condition. You must prove the work injury is more than 50% responsible for your current condition to claim benefits.
What Obstacles May I Face With My Workers’ Comp Claim When Trying to Prove a Pre-Existing Condition Was Worsened?
A perfect example of this is if you’re an employee suffering from osteopenia (a disorder that makes bones vulnerable to breaking). Your employer isn’t obliged to give you benefits to seek treatment or give you time off work to deal with the symptoms associated with the existing condition. But if you happen to fracture your leg while performing job duties like lifting a box, you qualify for workers’ comp, even if somebody who doesn’t have osteopenia would easily handle the task.
Other common claims involve compensable injuries arising from repetitive activities like continuously lifting heavy items as part of your job description. If you were treated for joint, knee, or shoulder injuries in the past, they can be exacerbated by such work activities.
Even though employers should accept employees the way they are, they often refute the claim stating that symptoms hindering you from fulfilling your job responsibilities are attributed to your pre-existing condition, and not anything to do with your work. Proving aggravation, in this case, can be difficult and your workers’ comp claim can end up getting declined.
How Can You Protect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Insurance companies will send out their adjusters to contest any workers’ comp claim, particularly those involving pre-existing conditions or injuries in Miami, FL. To safeguard your workers’ comp claim, make sure to follow the following steps:
File Your Claim on Time
Under Florida’s workers’ comp laws, it’s crucial that report your claim to relevant authorities on time if you wish to get your benefits. You have a 30-day time limit to notify your employer of the injury or otherwise risk losing your right to seek reimbursement.
Maintain Medical Records
If you’ve got a pre-existing medical disorder, it’s essential that you keep detailed medical documentation of these pre-existing conditions or injuries along with medical proof of the work injury. This will show differences between pre-existing injuries and conditions before and after the work injury and how your health deteriorated.
Submit to a Medical Examination
The workers’ comp claim process in Miami, FL typically entails you notifying your employer of your injury in an attempt to get their insurance carrier to cover the ensuing medical expenses. For your medical treatments to be covered, your employer’s insurance carrier will require you to submit to a medical assessment. This will be conducted by an approved workers’ compensation physician. For your workers’ comp claim to be approved, it’s imperative that you submit to the medical exam.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation policies are already complicated, and when you include a pre-existing injury, things get that much complex. Having your claim handled by a skilled and seasoned workers’ comp attorney is integral to the success of your case, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or injuries in Miami, FL.
We at Work Injury Rights have helped thousands of employees with these conditions receive the benefits they are entitled to. We are aware of the tactics insurers use and will counter them at their own game.
Allow Work Injury Rights to Help You Claim Benefits for Worsened Pre-Existing Injuries or Conditions
When you already have a pre-existing condition and a workplace accident worsens your condition, you can still seek reimbursement. But you should expect to face opposition, particularly from the responsible employer’s insurance carrier. That’s why hiring us at Work Injury Rights is important.
Contact our law offices at 954-833-5226 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Miami workers’ comp attorney today.