Preexisting Injuries or Conditions
If Your Job-Related Pain Is Not From a Preexisting Injury, You Still May Need a NY Work Injury Lawyer
Proving your pain exists is hard enough, but proving what caused it can be even more difficult. Workers compensation insurance companies will often say that a worker's injury or illness was already there before they started doing that job or that it was caused by something outside of work. It is often very difficult to convince your boss, your doctor, insurance adjusters, the New York Workers Compensation Board and the Administrative Judges who oversee workers compensation hearings that you were injured at work. With us by your side, you will be taken seriously.
If your work injury is not a preexisting condition, we can help prove it and go after the settlement you deserve. Whatever the circumstances of your work-related injury, our lawyers can demand the workers’ compensation benefits you rightfully deserve.
We Ensure That Every Detail of Your Work Injury Is Properly Documented
It is important that the moment you suspect you were hurt—whether it's a job-related injury or a long-term workplace illness—that you begin to document your symptoms and the work tasks and situations related to them. Whether you know the moment you were injured, such as a fall from a ladder on a construction site or if you've had chronic, slowly worsening wrist pain and swelling from working at a computer all day, you need to record every detail of your work accident, injury and pain.
This is also why it’s important to see your doctor right away. They have your medical records. They know what your medical condition was before your work-related injury. That way, when they run new medical tests to diagnose what’s wrong, you will have solid medical evidence showing that your current injury occurred on the job.
What Determines a Pre-Existing Condition?
Pre-existing medical conditions can cover a wide range. Perhaps you have suffered from mild back pain for years. Or perhaps you have asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea. Any medical condition that existed before your work injury can affect your workers’ compensation claim if your work injury affects the same part of the body or otherwise interacts with that pre-existing condition.
How Can a Pre-Existing Injury Affect Compensation For New Injuries?
In general, a pre-existing condition does not reduce your access to workers’ compensation benefits. If your work injury makes a pre-existing condition worse – for example, if you had a pre-existing injury or illness that affected your back, and then you injured your back at work – then you are still eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, partial replacement of lost income, and other costs covered by workers’ comp.
The system does get more complicated if a pre-existing work injury (for which you previously received workers’ compensation) is aggravated by a new injury or illness. In those situations, the workers’ compensation system must “apportion” your benefits between your previous workers’ compensation claim and your new workers’ compensation claim. These are complex situations that need the attention of an experienced attorney.
NY Workers' Compensation Laws Can Make It Hard to Prove That Your Pain Is Work-Related
Workers compensation law is complicated, with a common law rule that "you take someone as you find him," but also provisions that, under certain circumstances, the insurer may not have to pay any benefits if it is thought that a prior active or disabling condition existed. In the case of an accident, the insurance company for your employer is liable for aggravation of an existing condition, whereas for occupational diseases the worker must prove that the pathology or disability was not there before starting the job. We will help you navigate through the process and pursue the compensation you have coming to you.
Our team of highly skilled attorneys provides aggressive representation to ensure the protection of your rights to workers compensation benefits. Call us toll-free at (800) 692-3717 or contact us online for a confidential, free evaluation. Serving Staten Island, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, Rockland, the Bronx and Manhattan.