When it comes to securing workers’ compensation benefits as a result of a workplace injury in Columbia, pre-existing conditions can often complicate matters. Columbia workers’ compensation insurers will often deny workers’ compensation claims for pre-existing conditions, citing a lack of causal connection between the condition and the workplace injury or illness, which can leave injured workers feeling frustrated and uncertain about their next steps. However, with the help of a qualified Columbia workers’ compensation attorney, injured workers can navigate the claims process and fight for the benefits they need and deserve.
Pre-existing conditions are defined as any medical condition that existed prior to an individual sustaining a workplace injury or illness. In many cases, compensation insurers will argue that pre-existing conditions are the primary cause of a workplace injury or illness, rather than the work-related incident itself. However, according to Missouri law, it’s not so simple.
There are actually three different categories of pre-existing conditions, and they each have impacts on workers’ compensation claims in Columbia. They include:
You may have a pre-existing condition that either is or is not asymptomatic but could have contributed to an injury or illness. Compensation may be lessened to account for the previous claim. Alternatively, it’s possible that you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as well as additional benefits for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition.
You may have a pre-existing condition due to a previous injury or simply because of your age or lifestyle choices, then aggravate it at work. For example, if you have arthritis and hurt your knee on the job, your Columbia workers’ compensation claim may be denied because of your pre-existing condition. However, if you can prove that your workplace injury or illness is a direct result of your employment – such as working in a hazardous environment or performing repetitive motions – then you may still be entitled to compensation, but not for the pre-existing condition itself.
You may have a pre-existing condition that is in no way connected to your workplace injury. In this case, injured workers can still receive benefits as long as the injuries were caused by the workplace incident. For example, if you have cancer and are subsequently diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome after performing repetitive motions at work, your cancer will not be considered a pre-existing condition for the purposes of your claim.
If you’ve been injured at work and your Columbia workers’ compensation claim has been denied due to a pre-existing condition, don’t give up. An experienced Columbia workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and help you determine whether you’re still entitled to benefits. In many cases, pre-existing conditions are only a small part of the overall picture, and with the help of a qualified attorney, you can appeal for the benefits you need and deserve.
When a pre-existing condition is part of a compensation claim, you can be sure that insurers will often try to use it as a way to avoid paying out benefits. That’s why it’s critical to seek medical treatment right away, document the injury with your employer, and enlist the help of a qualified Columbia workers’ compensation attorney. With legal representation on your side, you can recover compensation for your workplace injury or illness, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
If you’ve been injured at work and your Columbia workers’ compensation claim has been denied due to a pre-existing condition, don’t delay. The experienced Columbia workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Office of Chris Miller will review your case for free and explore all your legal options. Call now to learn more.