A pre-existing condition refers to an ailment or medical condition that you have been previously diagnosed with and/or treated for.
In some instances a pre-existing condition may be exacerbated by conditions in your workplace. Asthma symptoms may flare up more often if you are exposed to extreme high or low humidity or arthritis pain way worsen for a person who has to stand for long periods of time. Additionally, an accident on the job could cause further harm to a prior injury. If the nature of your pre-existing condition worsens as a result of your working conditions and environment or a workplace accident, should your employer have to compensate you for your medical costs?
The aggravation of injury to an already existing condition is covered by workers’ compensation. However, proving the extent of pain or disability that was directly work related may be difficult. Therefore, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a workers’ compensation lawyer. Workers’ compensation insurance is expensive for employers and they will go to any means to avoid having to pay any claims. It is important to note that symptoms alone are not compensable, a harmful change to your condition should be noted by a medical professional in order for you to receive benefits.
The most common conditions worsened by work place activities are back injuries and arthritis. These types of injuries are most often not worsened by one isolated accident, but the act of doing repetitive tasks, such as heavy lifting, over long periods of time. The employer will argue that the exacerbation of the condition could just as easily be related to activities outside of the workplace. Under Missouri law these types of injuries do not automatically fall under the jurisdiction of worker’s comp. A qualified Missouri workers’ compensation attorney can help you make the distinction.
In cases where an accident causes aggravation of pre-existing condition, medical care may be required that will actually help improve the state of the employees condition overall. An employee suffering from a knee condition that is further aggravated by a work place accident may require expensive surgery to repair. As a result the overall state of the pre-existing injury will be improved. Missouri laws typically favor the employee in these cases and allow for such surgeries and improvements on quality of life to be covered by workers’ compensation. A similar case involving a back injury that resulted in surgery was settled for $170,000 in Missouri. Initially the claim was denied based on a previous diagnosis of a herniated disc. The employees lawyer was well versed in the laws regarding these types of cases and was able to get her the compensation that was due.
St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The laws surrounding workers’ compensation, especially in cases where a pre-existing condition is involved, are constantly evolving. Employers are going to fight hard to avoid having to pay for any medical expense or loss of wages. Arm yourself with an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer and fight for the full compensation that you deserve.
Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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