If you have a medical condition and are told to undergo treatment, what happens if your work makes your injury worse? In most cases, you can still get coverage for your injury- even though you were already affected by it. As long as you can demonstrate that your work tasks exacerbated the damage to your health, you should be able to make a successful claim.
Obtaining benefits for a work injury when you have a pre-existing condition can be a complicated process because there is a good chance your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer is going to try to deny your claim and argue your ailments are not work-related. With the help of an Atlanta workers’ comp attorney, you will need to demonstrate that you actually are entitled to medical bills, disability income, and other workers’ comp benefits. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin building your evidence.
What Happens When Atlanta Work Injuries Aggravate Pre-Existing Conditions?
Safety News Alert reported on a recent case in which an employee had a diagnosed medical condition, but suffered a work injury that caused the condition to become much worse. The employee was ultimately able to get benefits for his injury, but had to turn to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for help after the benefits claim was initially denied. The employer’s insurer also put the worker through multiple stages of appeal before the state court finally upheld the grant of benefits to the worker.
In this particular case, the worker had necrosis of the hip and his doctor had recommended he undergo a hip replacement surgery as a result of degenerative joint disease. The worker, however, was largely asymptomatic. Although he walked with a slight limp, he was able to continue to do his job loading and unloading trucks for the company.
When he was on a company truck one day, he sustained a fall on ice. This caused a significant exacerbation of his workplace injury, which his treating physician referred to as an acute injury. While he had previously been able to perform his work, the fall resulted in him being unable to stand on the leg without experiencing considerable pain. As a result, immediate hip replacement surgery was necessary.
The employee made a claim for workers’ comp benefits to get temporary total disability coverage for the time he was recovering for his operation and to get the employer’s workers’ comp insurer to pay for the cost of the surgery. The workers’ comp insurer had the worker examiner by the company’s doctor, who said the fall had not caused any lasting impairments. However, the workers’ treating physician and an orthopedic surgeon both disagreed.
The initial denial of benefits was overturned after the employee appealed to the workers’ compensation commission, and the grant of benefits to the worker was upheld through two additional stages of appeal. Ultimately, the worker was provided with the benefits he needed.
In cases where your pre-existing conditions are exacerbated, you may also need to fight aggressively to get coverage. Be sure to get appropriate legal help so you can get the benefits you need and deserve.
The Atlanta work injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after an accidental injury. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.