An injury on the job can be stressful enough with concerns that you will be unable to meet your financial obligations while you are out of work or worry that your employer will fire you if you file a workers’ compensation claim, but when your injury aggravates a pre existing condition, it can be even more stressful.

Many people believe that they cannot file a workers’ compensation claim if their injury is related to a pre-existing issue, but according to workers’ compensation attorneys, Pennsylvania law specifically states that an old injury does not preclude you from collecting workers’ compensation.

State Law

The workers’ compensation statute in Pennsylvania states that an injury to an employee, “regardless of his previous condition,” that occurs on the job and is related to their position is covered under workers’ compensation. In addition, the law states that “such disease or infection as naturally results from the injury or is aggravated, reactivated or accelerated by the injury,” qualifies the employee for compensation under the law.

Must Be Work-Related

The key to claiming workers’ compensation when you have a pre existing condition that was aggravated by your work activity is to prove that it the additional injury occurred because of your work duties. Normally, when there has been a gap in treatment between the initial injury or illness and the most recent claim, the more likely it is you will qualify for worker’s compensation. The factors that are used to determine whether an existing injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation includes:

  • When you were last treated by a doctor for the pre-existing illness or injury
  • What types of doctors treated you for the condition
  • What type of treatment you received
  • Differences in symptoms compared to initial illness or injury and the current illness or injury
  • What work activities triggered the current symptoms

Review of Medical Records

In order to determine that a pre existing condition was aggravated, reactivated or accelerated, the insurance company will perform a careful review of all medical records to make a determination. They may review family doctor records as well as specialist records related to your initial treatment. Reviews of medical records can be complicated, which is why it is critical to contact workers’ compensation attorneys as a precaution. Hiring an attorney does not mean you plan to sue your employer, as this is not permitted under the law in Pennsylvania in most cases. Instead, a workers’ compensation attorney will review your circumstances and fight to get you the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

If you or a loved one has aggravated, reactivated or accelerated a pre-existing condition on the job, contact workers’ compensation attorneys at Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for an initial, no obligation consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the simple form on our website.

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