Compensation for Pre-Existing Injuries
If a pre-existing injury you have is further exacerbated by the requirements of your job, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Here is some important information to know regarding compensation for pre-existing injuries in Massachusetts.
Compensation for Pre-Existing Injuries | Examples of Pre-Existing Injuries
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.
Compensation for Pre-Existing Injuries | Complications with Insurance Carriers
Employers, workers’ comp insurance carriers, and their defense lawyers frequently go out of their way to fight even the most compensable of workers’ compensation claims. Nowhere is the fight as prickly as when an employee with a pre-existing injury suffers a new workplace injury. Employers and their representatives defending your claim will thoroughly comb and sift through past medical records in search of what they think are pre-existing work injuries in their unmitigated quest to deny a comp claim and save company money. In fact, not only will they attempt to initially deny the claim in its entirety, but they often use the pre-existing injury defense to deny certain prescription medications on claims that have already been accepted as compensable. In such cases, it is absolutely paramount that the injured worker retains a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to fight back and protect their statutory right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Compensation for Pre-Existing Injuries | Workers’ Compensation Rights
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 of 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.
If you have suffered a workplace injury in the state of Massachusetts, please contact our experienced Lowell workers’ compensation lawyer today to schedule a free consultation. We will help you receive the compensation you deserve.