An employer may deny a workers’ compensation claim on the grounds that the injury is really a pre-exisiting condition.
Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions or illnesses that you have been previously diagnosed with and treated for. When a pre-existing condition is brought up in a workers’ compensation claim, it is usually because an accident or repetitive motion related to the job has exacerbated the condition. It is fairly common for this to happen in the work place, particularly with a prior back injury. If your claim for compensation has been denied by your employer who is claiming the injury was a pre-existing one, contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
When a Pre-Existing Condition Is Aggravated by a Work-Related Injury
Workers’ compensation is supposed to cover the medical care needed when a prior injury is aggravated by a new, work related one. If your employer denies the claim, then your next course of action will be to file an appeal. During the appeal hearing, you will need expert medical opinions that support your claim of aggravation to the injury and provide a plausible reason how your job is responsible for it. In addition, you will need to show how much of the injury is directly related to your employment. Since this hearing allows for cross examination of witnesses, you may want to hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney that has experience in this area help you present your evidence in a compelling manner.
Work-Related Back Injuries Often Disputed
Back injuries are one of the most often disputed claims in workers’ compensation cases. Employers will argue that the medical care the injured employee far exceeds the extent of the injury that occurred at work. Take, for example, the case of a St. Louis woman who had herniated her disc years prior to her work place accident. While the initial injury allowed her to live a normal life with pain relief medications, the doctors treating the new injury were convinced that only surgery would help remedy the woman’s pain. Her employer refused payment for the surgery, stating that the original injury had more of an impact on her pain then the one that came from the work she was doing for them. The appeals court sided with the employee, and awarded her the $170,000 that she had accrued in medical care and lost wages.
Receiving Help to Appeal Your Claim’s Denial
Accidents at work are not the only cause of aggravation to a pre-existing condition. Repetitive motion injuries, such as lifting heavy boxes or using a scan gun, can often trigger old back injuries and even carpal tunnels syndrome or arthritis. It is important to bring your work history to the attention of your physician if you are suddenly experiencing painful symptoms from an old injury. A knowledgeable St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney will know how to best present your case to the review board in order to make sure that not only is your medical expenses paid for, but that you are paid for lost time at work as well.
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
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