Work injuries are not uncommon and happen in every industry regardless of the nature of the job. In the state of Florida, employees are allowed to claim workers compensation benefits if they have been injured or fallen ill while at work. These benefits are designed to provide the financial aid needed for aspects like medical care, lost wages, and other losses.
However, it is not all smooth sailing as there can be instances where a claim can be denied, particularly due to pre-existing injuries or conditions. Your employer or the insurance provider may claim that your existing condition was the cause of the injuries, meaning you can’t seek compensation benefits. However, it is important to note that in Florida, a pre-existing injury or condition should not disqualify you from receiving benefits.
The law allows anyone to file for workers comp for injuries or illnesses contracted while at work. This applies even when they have a pre-existing condition. If your claim has been denied because the accident worsened a pre-existing condition, do not hesitate to reach out to Work Injury Rights. We are seasoned attorneys who will fight to protect your rights and recover the benefits you deserve. Call us today at [PHONE] to get started!
What are Pre-Existing Injuries & Conditions?
A pre-existing injury or condition is a complication that was there before a work-related accident that affected the same body part. Examples include:
- Herniated disc
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Knee injuries
- Spine degeneration
Under Florida Law, Can a Pre-Existing Injury or Condition Prevent You From Filing for a Workers Comp Claim?
In the state of Florida, the Workers Compensation Act does not bar you from seeking workers comp benefits if you have a pre-existing injury or condition. In fact, you have a better chance of receiving the benefits if the work-related accident made the pre-existing injury or condition worse.
However, this doesn’t mean the process of being compensated for old injuries is a walk in the park. Insurance providers will always want to protect their interests and do whatever they can to deny your claim. A common occurrence is they claim the incident didn’t have a substantial effect on your condition.
What Obstacles Can You Face When Trying to Show Your Pre-Existing Injury or Condition Was Worsened?
If you suffer from osteopenia, for example, the employer is not obligated to cover medical treatment expenses or give you free time to handle the symptoms that come with the disorder. However, if you break your hand while doing work like lifting an object at work, you are eligible for compensation, even if an individual without the medical condition would easily handle the job.
Examples of other claims involve injuries sustained from repetitive tasks like regularly lifting heavy objects at work. If you were treated for shoulder, back or joint injuries before, such tasks may worsen the injuries.
More often than not, employers and insurance carriers refute these claims, stating that the pre-existing condition is responsible for being unable to perform as expected and the symptoms have nothing to do with your role at work. In such a situation, it can be hard to prove aggravation, and your claim may be denied. That’s why it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
How Do I Protect My Workers Comp Claim?
When dealing with a claim that involves a pre-existing injury or condition, expect the insurance adjusters to contest or refute it. As such, you’ll want to protect your workers compensation claim by doing the following:
File the Claim on Time
Missing the deadline for filing a claim is a mistake you don’t want to do as it will automatically void your case. In the state of Florida, you have a limit of 30 days to notify your employer about the injury or condition.
Keep the Medical Records
If you have a pre-existing medical condition or injury, it is paramount that you keep detailed documentation regarding the same as well as medical proof of the work-related injury. This will prove vital in showing the differences in the pre-existing condition or injury, before and after the work-related accident as well as how your health has deteriorated.
Adhere to the Medical Requests
It is imperative that you follow any medical requests made by the insurance carrier. This includes detailed documentation of your current medical state as well as records that relate to the pre-existing condition.
In addition, the insurance company may ask for a medical examination, where an authorized practitioner assesses your injury and goes through your medical condition. You are required to comply with these requests if you want the best chance of getting compensated.
If the authorized doctor prescribes a treatment plan, it is important that you follow their instructions in order for the insurer to approve your claim. This includes attending follow-up appointments meant to assess your recovery process.
Consult a Workers Comp Attorney
Workers comp claims can be hard to navigate, especially when you are dealing with a pre-existing condition or injury. Insurance companies will use any reason to deny your claim and protect their bottom line and so, it’s best to have a lawyer who will ensure your rights are protected. Consult an attorney from the beginning of the process for higher chances of success.
Hire the Best Workers Comp Lawyers in Spring, Hill FL for Worsened Pre-Existing Conditions and Injuries!
If you suffer from a pre-existing condition or injury that was worsened by a work-related incident, Florida law allows you to seek workers comp benefits. However, the process can be an uphill task, especially when it comes to showing that the condition was actually aggravated.
This is where Work Injury Rights comes to the rescue. We have years of experience in this field and we will help you fight for the right to get the maximum benefits you deserve for your medical bills and lost wages.
We provide a free initial, no-obligation consultation to go through your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. Call our Spring Hill offices at [PHONE] to get started!