Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions
One of the most common reasons for an employer to deny a workers’ compensation claim is because of a pre-existing condition, or the employer’s claim that the pre-existing condition is the cause of the pain or injury. Because it is difficult to pinpoint the cause of an injury when there may be an underlying condition or previous injury claim, or because your workers’ compensation claim is based on an overuse injury, working with an experienced Orlando workers’ compensation attorney is crucial for getting the medical and financial compensation that you deserve.
A Pre-Existing Condition Does Not Necessarily Make You Ineligible for Compensation
Under Florida statute 440.09, in order to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits, the “major contributing cause” of your injury needs to have occurred at work. This means that more than 50 percent of the injury must be caused at work. For example, if you tripped down the stairs at your home and injured your knee, then went to work the next day and the injury was exacerbated by standing on the bad knee for eight hours, your claim would not be accepted. On the other hand, if you suffered moderate back pain off and on for two years caused various activities not related to your work, but then at work a box of merchandise struck you in the back, causing the old injury to not only flare up, but caused it to become worse than before, you should be covered by workers’ compensation.
I Do Not Even Have a Pre-Existing Condition But My Claim Was Still Denied
While a pre-existing condition does not automatically exclude injured victims from workers’ compensation in Florida, as a way of denying claims and saving money, insurance companies and employers often fall back on the false claim that the worker in question must have had a previous injury. As such, workers with no previous injury or medical condition are sometimes denied simply because of an insurance carrier or employer’s greed.
Additional Hurdles for Workers With Pre-Existing Conditions
According to the CDC and the Washington Post, 20.4 percent or one in five Americans have experienced chronic pain every day for the past six months or longer. Current chronic pain and past injuries should not stand in the way of deserving workers from getting compensated for their work-caused injuries, but unfortunately the following circumstances can make your claim harder to receive:
- Previous surgeries;
- History of chronic pain;
- History of using opioid pain killer medication;
- Previous workers’ compensation claims; and
- Previous personal injury claims.
Call an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyer For Help Today
Navigating the Florida workers’ compensation labyrinth of paperwork and legal jargon is difficult enough as it is; when an employer denies your claim based on the false notion that a pre-existing condition is the majority cause of your injury claim, it becomes impossible to gain compensation without the assistance of an Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer. For help filing your claim and receiving full compensation, call the Payer Law today at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation.