Work or workplace-related injuries do occur more often than not. This is where workers compensation benefits shine, as they offer the much-needed safety net. However, your claim may be rejected due to pre-existing injuries or conditions. This is why you need an experienced St. Petersburg, FL workers compensation attorney for pre-existing injuries or conditions.
Fighting to receive workers compensation benefits is a very challenging task if you have pre-existing injuries or conditions. This is why it is wise to seek the services of an experienced workers compensation lawyer.
Our Work Injury Rights attorneys will help you through all the stages of filling out the workers compensation benefits. If you find yourself in this situation, call our St. Petersburg, Florida, workers compensation attorney today at 954-833-5226.
What Are Pre-Existing Injuries and Conditions?
A pre-existing injury or condition is defined as a medical injury or illness you have before starting a new health care plan. Based on our topic, it refers to the medical disorders that existed before the workplace accident or your current workers compensation claim.
A few examples of such conditions may include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer, a herniated disk, carpal tunnel syndrome, and others. Remember, pre-existing injuries and conditions tend to be long-term or chronic. These are injuries that can affect your ability to fulfill the requirements of your job well.
Do Pre-Existing Injuries or Conditions Prevent You From Filing A Workers Compensation Claim Under Florida Law?
The short answer is NO! This means that Florida state law does not bar or prevent you from filing for workers compensation benefits if you are suffering from pre-existing injuries or conditions. All you have to remember is that workers compensation benefits should be awarded to those who have suffered work-related injuries or accidents.
On the other hand, just because you are not prevented from filing for workers compensation benefits does not mean that it is going to be easy. That is because insurance companies are good at safeguarding their bottom line, and they will always go out of their way to contest or refute a claim. The first strategy they always employ is asserting that the work accident did not have a significant impact on your condition.
In fact, for you to receive the benefit, you must provide evidence showing the work injury is more than 50% responsible for your current injury. This is why it is paramount to know more about your pre-existing conditions and seek frequent medical attention for them.
What Possible Obstacles Will I Face With My Workers Comp Claim When Trying To Prove My Pre-Existing Condition Has Been Made Worse By A Work-Related Accident?
Proving that a work-related accident has made your pre-existing injury or condition worse is not easy. Although employers are required to accept employees the way they are, they often refute claims, mentioning that the symptoms that are preventing you from performing your work duties are attributed to pre-existing conditions and have nothing to do with the work.
For example, assuming that you suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), (an inherited genetic bone disease that makes bones fragile and breaks easily, your employer is not legally required to give you benefits for treatment or time off work to deal with the symptoms.
However, if you end up breaking your bone while performing work-related activities like lifting boxes, you will automatically qualify for workers compensation benefits. The problem is proving that it was a work-related accident.
Another example, assuming that in the past you were involved in a fatal road accident and have a bad shoulder, knee, hip, or any other part. You will qualify for the benefits if your work duties make the condition worse, especially those that arise from repetitive activities like bending or lifting heavy objects.
How Can I Protect My Workers Compensation Claim?
For your workers compensation to be successful, you have to be your own advocate for the first few hours. How do you do this? Well, there are generally four ways to protect your claim. These are:
- Filing The Claim On Time – When it comes to filing a claim, it is highly important to do it on time. Remember, there is a statute of limitations, which is two years. However, remember, the earlier the better. Do not forget to include a record of all-important data.
- Maintain Medical Records – It is highly important to collect and keep all the medical records of your pre-existing injuries or conditions. The goal is to provide evidence showing the difference between pre-existing injuries or conditions before and after the work-related injury.
- Submit To A Medical Examination – Do not hesitate to submit to a medical examination as required by the insurance. Insurance companies will always require you to submit to an independent medical examination. Doing this will help them assess the extent of the damage or injury to determine the value of your injuries or treatment.
- Contact A Workers Compensation Attorney – Workers compensation policies are challenging and complicated for an ordinary person to understand. Adding this to pre-existing conditions or injuries makes the whole process nearly impossible. For this reason, you need the services of an experienced workers compensation attorney to help you. In fact, it can be the difference between succeeding and failing.
Suffering from Pre-Existing Injuries and Conditions in St. Petersburg? Call Us Today!
At Work Injury Rights, we have offered our services to thousands of employees with pre-existing injuries and conditions to help them get the benefits they are rightfully owed. We know the tactics insurance companies use.
This is why, during the consultation session, we will listen to your claims and strategize on the best action to take.
Allow our Work Injury Rights Lawyers to help you claim the benefits for you. If you are in need of an experienced and highly skilled Workers Compensation attorney for Pre-Existing Injuries and Conditions in St. Petersburg, call us today at 954-833-5226.
We are ready to offer our services at any time and help you protect your rights. We will ensure you get what you are rightfully owed.