Many employees may believe that having a preexisting injury may automatically disqualify them from pursuing a worker’s compensation claim, even if that old injury becomes worse because of their job duties. However, in Wisconsin, this is not true. You cannot be barred from making a claim simply because you have a preexisting injury.
If you have an old injury that was aggravated or made worse while you were doing your job, we encourage you to contact our law offices to find out whether you may have a valid claim. This initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers is completely free, and there is no obligation to use our services after this meeting.
Did Your Job Duties Cause a Preexisting Injury to Worsen?
Perhaps your boss or a co-worker told you that if you have a preexisting injury or medical condition that got worse while working on the job you are not eligible to file a claim for worker’s compensation. For example, if you have a preexisting back injury and your job duties include lifting heavy objects every day, your work could either cause a new back injury or aggravate your old one. Many industries, such as construction, inherently carry a higher risk for injury, or reinjury, due to working with heavy equipment.
If you are injured while doing your job, even if you have a preexisting injury, you may still be eligible to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
What Types of Injuries or Conditions May Worsen on the Job?
Medical conditions and other prior injuries that can be aggravated by performing your job duties include:
- Back injuries
- Carpal tunnel
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal cord damage
- Certain types of cancer
- Heart disease
- Hearing or vision problems
- Skin conditions
Some employers, or even worker’s compensation carriers, may rely on the fact that many people just give up on pursuing a claim after being denied benefits for a preexisting injury.
Evidence That Can Help Support Your Claim
It is important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side, so if they can find a reason to deny your claim, they will. However, there are steps that you can take to help provide proof that your preexisting injury was made worse by your job:
Disclose Your Preexisting Injury
Although it may be tempting to do so, it is never a good idea to try to hide an old injury when filing for worker’s compensation benefits, and this tactic will likely backfire on you anyway. It is better to get it out in the open. However, there is a proper way to do it. When filing your application for benefits, talk about the specific activities that caused your preexisting injury or medical condition to worsen. Discuss the symptoms you are having now and describe how they are different from what you experienced with your old injury.
Repetition is Key
Once you choose your treating physician, be sure to talk about how your symptoms with this reinjury or aggravated medical condition are different from what you previously experienced. Tell your doctor what activities you were doing at work that caused you to get reinjured.
Do Not Wait to Report Your Injury
Never wait to report a work injury. If you do, you leave wiggle room for either your employer, the worker’s comp insurance carrier, or both, to argue that your injuries could have happened anywhere.
If you are denied benefits, there are options for appealing this decision. However, you do not typically have time to waste. Contact an experienced lawyer to learn about your legal options for overturning this decision and getting the benefits you need.
Injured or Reinjured at Work? Call Our Firm for Legal Help Today
We recommend speaking to an experienced attorney to learn whether you may still be eligible to receive worker’s comp benefits while you recover from your injury.
At Sigman and Janssen, we are prepared to review the circumstances of your situation and help determine whether you may have a valid claim. There is no cost to meet with us; your initial consultation is completely free. We have decades of experience, and we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
There is no obligation to hire our services, and if you hire one of our Oshkosh worker’s compensation lawyers to represent you, there are no upfront fees or attorney costs to pay. We only get paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today. (877) 888-5201.