Injuries are a part of life in Western Pennsylvania. We work hard, and we play hard. Injuries to backs, necks, shoulders, knees and hips are common, and can happen in many ways — playing sports, car accidents, and injuries at work. While the human body is resilient, some injuries never completely heal. Many of us continue to work despite having not completely healed from an injury.
But what happens when you reinjure or further injure yourself at work and your original injury was not work-related? Does this disqualify you from Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits?
The simple answer – no, it does not. A work-related aggravation of a preexisting condition, whether that preexisting condition is or is not work related, qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits. However, it does complicate proving that your injury is work related.
Separating the injuries
Winning your workers’ compensation claim requires proof that the work related aggravation prevents you from going back to work. But drawing a line between your preexisting condition and your work related aggravation can be challenging, especially when that exact same body part was already injured.
You may have injured your lower back several years ago in a non-work related auto accident, and your lower back never completely healed. You continue to work, keeping the pain and stiffness under control with exercise and medication. You then suffer a new on-the-job lower back injury, causing your symptoms to worsen and causing you to miss work.
This scenario creates a challenging situation. Because of your pre-existing condition, the workers’ compensation insurance company will most likely deny your claim. You must then file a claim petition and prove to a workers’ compensation judge that your current symptoms and limitations are due to the new aggravation, and not the old injury. The key to winning the case is persuasive medical evidence. You need a strong medical opinion that your disability is related to the aggravation.
Obtaining the Medical Evidence You Need to Win Your Case
The certified Workers’ Compensation specialists at QuatriniRafferty obtain medical evidence to win our clients’ cases – all day, every day! We work directly with your medical provider to obtain persuasive medical reports. Call us for a free consultation if you have aggravated your pre-existing medical condition at work. We answer 24/7. 724 837 0080.