Workers’ compensation claims can be complex when a pre-existing condition is involved. However, a pre-existing condition should not be a barrier to filing your claim. Employers must take employees “as they find them,” meaning the employer may have to pay for benefits if the employee had a pre-existing condition and is worsened because of something work-related. Once your claim is filed, you will likely be examined by a medical provider.
Whether a claim involving a pre-existing condition will be successful depends on a number of factors such as the nature of the new injury or illness and the pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions complicate claims because it must be decided if the symptoms are from an old injury or condition, a new injury or aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Ultimately, it is up to a judge to determine if the injury is compensable.
What if My Claim Gets Denied?
Workers’ compensation insurers may deny benefits to employees with pre-existing conditions. If that happens to you, you may need to prove that your health issue was accelerated, aggravated, or involved in the injury. You should contact a lawyer immediately if your claim is challenged or denied.
Will My Workers’ Compensation Coverage Be Reduced for a Pre-Existing Condition?
According to New Jersey law, workers’ compensation benefits can be prorated when pre-existing conditions exist. This, however, would only apply to permanent or permanent partial disability which is your compensation at the end of the case for your loss of function in the affected body part. The insurance carrier will receive a credit called an Abdullah credit. You should have a lawyer involved in your case as early as possible to ensure that any credits are as little as possible.
If you suffered an aggravation to a pre-existing condition in a work accident you will still be fully covered for all of your medical bills for authorized treatment and be entitled to temporary disability benefits if you are unable to work because of the aggravation.
Monmouth County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Williams Offer Legal Guidance to Injured Employees With Pre-Existing Conditions
If you are having trouble with your claim because of a pre-existing condition, speak with our Monmouth County workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Williams. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 732-351-2800. We have an office located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. We serve clients in the Shrewsbury, Tinton Falls, and Monmouth County areas and throughout the state.