Are you eligible to receive workers’ compensation for pre-existing conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome? Here is some important information regarding workers’ comp laws in Massachusetts. Contact the law office of Jeffrey Young to set up a free consultation.
Pre-Existing Conditions | What Constitutes a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing injury or illness is simply an illness or injury that the worker sustained prior to the current workplace accident or injury. Pre-existing work injuries occur in many forms. For example, physicians may notice certain degenerative conditions that predated a new injury based on diagnostic studies such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Examples of conditions commonly noted through these diagnostic instruments include degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis. Pre-existing conditions may affect the feet, ankles, knees, hips, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and spine. Other pre-existing conditions or illnesses may be psychologically rooted, as is the case with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. They can also manifest in illnesses and diseases such as asthma, heart, and pulmonary conditions, and also include injuries such as hearing and vision loss.
Pre-Existing Conditions | Denied Claims
In most cases, pre-existing work injuries were completely asymptomatic and the new work-related injury permanently advanced, aggravated, or exacerbated the pre-existing injury creating new symptoms and at time, causing previous symptoms to arise. In spite of these clear facts, employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers flat-out deny these claims and make it incredibly difficult for an injured worker to receive the benefits to which they are entitled under Massachusetts law.
Pre-Existing Conditions | Compensation
Under Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation statutes, the exacerbation or aggravation of a pre-existing injury is compensable. The law holds that a new injury sustained within the course and scope of a workers’ employment must be covered by workers’ compensation, so long as that injury is a “major cause” for the cause of the workers’ disability or need for treatment. Of course, this means that the injured worker is entitled to all the medical, lost wages, permanent incapacity, and loss of function benefits that the Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws provide, just like any other compensable workplace injury or illness.
It is absolutely essential that an injured worker with pre-existing conditions contact a lawyer immediately when faced with a new, as the employer and/or workers’ comp carrier most certainly will. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.