Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Aggravation of Existing Injuries?

Workers Compensation Attorney

When an accident occurs on a jobsite, the worker who is hurt may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both kinds of claims, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and their worker classification. But what are workers to do when repeated stress or other work-related conditions aggravate pre-existing conditions? Do the same rules apply? The answer to this question also relatively depends based on the circumstances surrounding the aggravation of the pre-existing condition and a workers’ classification.

When Work Makes Pre-Existing Injuries Worse
Generally speaking, independent contractors (unless they have been intentionally or unintentionally misclassified) are not eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. This is true whether a worker’s injury results from an accident or repeated stress over time. With that said, many independent contractors are unaware that they should be rightfully extended workers’ compensation coverage as a result of misclassification. Therefore, if you’re an independent contractor and you’re unsure of whether you should be considered eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as you do the work of an employee – not a contractor – please contact our firm today so that we can clarify your options and assist you with your needs. Even if you are properly classified as a contractor, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim related to the aggravation of your pre-existing condition, depending on the circumstances surrounding your worsened condition.

If you’re eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits because you’re an employee and your employer isn’t subject to any exceptions, you should be able to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim related to your aggravated pre-existing condition, provided that it was work-related activities that aggravated and worsened your condition. However, it’s important to speak with a trusted NY workers comp attorney like one from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C., before filing your claim, as this particular kind of claim can get tricky. 

Some insurance providers may try to argue that it wasn’t your work activities, but your personal activities, that caused the aggravation of your pre-existing condition. To that end, be careful what you post on social media until your claim is resolved. If you post a picture of yourself working out or engaging in sports, etc. your workers’ compensation insurance claims adjuster could argue that these pictures are proof that your personal lifestyle – not your work – aggravated your pre-existing condition in question.

Legal Assistance Is Available
If aggravation of your pre-existing condition was caused by work-related circumstances (repeated stress or an acute incident) and you’re eligible to receive a workers’ compensation benefit award, you should be able to file for workers’ comp benefits successfully. Please consider allowing our firm to help you file your claim efficiently and effectively so that it is both approved quickly and valued fairly. Whether your injury originated elsewhere or not, you shouldn’t be burdened with costs related to that pre-existing condition if it was aggravated by work-related activity. We look forward to speaking with you about your legal needs at this time.