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Re-Injuring a Medical Condition at Work

Do you need to file a workers’ compensation claim for a new injury affecting the same area of the body that you’ve injured in the past? If so, you might have a significant challenge on your hands. Similarly, if you have aggravated a prior injury or pre-existing condition due to your job tasks, your claim may be denied or devalued simply because it is more difficult to prove and to defend. As a result, connecting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can is advisable. 

Navigating the Insurance Claims Process

Doctors specializing in worker’s compensation must provide medical evidence that work-related injury is either new and unrelated to your previous condition or that a pre-existing condition was uniquely aggravated by work-related activity. You can help your providers by clearly explaining the worsening of your symptoms, new physical limitations you’re experiencing, and anything new you haven’t experienced before.  Talk about your pain – How long does it last? How intense is it? How often does it happen? Include as many details as you can.

If you are a recent hire at your workplace, the insurance company might try to justify their denial by saying you weren’t at the job long enough to sustain the injury. In this instance, your lawyer and doctor must prove that the new injury is directly related to the current job task, not any prior issue.  

If medical records indicate that an employee has experienced the same symptoms as before, insurance will attribute the current issues to the prior condition. Ideally, you can prove that you were completely rehabilitated and not having any problems until the incident at the new job. As an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer – including those who practice at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. – can confirm, if an insurance representative can justify denying or devaluing your claim, they probably will. As a result, it is important to work with an attorney experienced in this area of law to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. 

Doing What You Can to Help Your Case

  1. Inform your employer about your injury and file your workers’ compensation claim immediately.
  2. Go to your doctor right away. Your attorney may suggest that you see more than one doctor so you can demonstrate agreement among professionals about your injury. Provide as many descriptive details as possible about your disability. Be prepared for the insurance company to request an Independent Medical Examination (IME).
  3. Be open about your prior injuries and/or filed workers’ comp claims. If you have a prior condition, tell the doctor. You could get penalized for withholding this information. However, you don’t have to detail what happened or minimize the effects of that prior injury. 

Connecting with a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

When you have a team of experienced professionals on your side, you can increase the odds of success in re: your workers’ compensation claim. New injury and aggravated/worsening claims can be more complex than other claims and are also time-sensitive, so connect with an attorney as soon as you possibly can.