work injury claim form

If you are hurt on the job in South Carolina, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This is likely true even if you had a pre-existing medical condition and an accident at work aggravated or worsened your prior medical problem. However, there is a common misconception that having a pre-existing condition will prevent an injured worker from receiving a fair result in a workers’ comp claim. Likewise, insurance carriers will use this belief to their advantage in an effort to deny or lowball a claim.

How Joye Law Firm Helps Clients

When we go to work, we take our health history with us. The South Carolina workers’ compensation system understands this and protects injured workers, even if they have a pre-existing condition. Here are some examples of how pre-existing conditions may be aggravated:

  • A worker at a manufacturing plant hurt his ankle in a motorcycle accident some time ago. He received medical treatment, and the ankle improved. But one day at work, a piece of machinery drops onto his foot, aggravating the old ankle injury.
  • A nurse tore ligaments in her wrist while playing with her children. She had surgery to repair the damage. Years later, her job duties—which include lifting patients—exacerbate her wrist problem.
  • A store clerk uses medicine and regular exercise to manage his arthritis. He slips and falls at work. This worsens his arthritis so that he is unable to return to work even after the injuries from the fall have healed.
  • In an actual case that Joye Law Firm handled, a $175,000 settlement was secured for a dock worker who suffered a severe neck and spine injury when a piece of equipment struck him on the job. Due to a pre-existing condition with his spine, his employers’ workers’ comp carrier initially denied coverage of necessary treatment—but Joye Law Firm successfully fought to win him a settlement for Permanent and Total Disability.
  • Joye Law Firm also won a $150,000 workers’ comp settlement for an executive chef who slipped and fell in a Myrtle Beach kitchen. Though he was also initially denied benefits based on a coworker’s statement that he already suffered from back problems, Joye Law Firm was able to secure the chef a lump sum to cover the benefits that were initially denied, as well as future lost wages and medical care.

In all of the above cases, the injured worker has a valid claim for workers’ comp benefits. Yet, almost all will likely have difficulties obtaining the benefits they were owed. That’s where injured workers can benefit from the help of a workers’ comp attorney.

Challenges in Proving Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

Proving that your work-related incident exacerbated a pre-existing condition can be a complex endeavor. Below are some of the common challenges faced in these cases and strategies to help establish the connection between your workplace injury and the aggravation of your pre-existing condition.

Challenges in Proving Aggravation

  • Pre-Existing Condition Documentation: One of the primary challenges is having clear and comprehensive documentation of your pre-existing condition before the workplace injury. This documentation helps establish the baseline of your health and serves as a reference point for evaluating aggravation.
  • Distinguishing New Injuries: It can be difficult to differentiate between new injuries sustained at work and pre-existing conditions, especially if the symptoms are similar. Establishing new symptoms and causation is crucial.
  • Workers’ Comp Skepticism: Workers’ comp insurance companies may be skeptical about attributing aggravation to workplace incidents, often viewing pre-existing conditions as a convenient way to deny or limit compensation.

Strategies for Proving Aggravation

  • Medical Records and Expert Opinions: Your attorney can work with medical professionals to provide expert opinions and thorough medical records that establish the connection between your workplace injury and the worsening of your pre-existing condition.
  • Witness Statements: Gathering witness statements from colleagues or supervisors who can attest to the incident and the impact on your health can strengthen your case.
  • Consistent Reporting: Consistently reporting any changes in your condition to your employer and seeking prompt medical attention can help establish a causal link between the workplace incident and the aggravation.
  • Legal Representation: Seeking the guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is perhaps the most critical strategy. They can navigate the legal complexities, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights effectively.

Just Call Joye Law Firm

We know how to distinguish your old injury from the new one. We can help you line up the medical treatment you need, and fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Use this online contact form to schedule a free review of your workers’ comp case today.

Recovering Workers’ Comp Despite a Pre-Existing Condition

It is natural as we grow older to experience weakening and deterioration of our bones, joints, and muscles. Sometimes we are hurt in car crashes and accidents at home, school, or elsewhere. Other times, we suffer more than one workplace injury, perhaps years apart, to the same part of our body.

So long as you have not lied about a prior ailment or tried to hide it from your employer, you are likely entitled to workers’ comp, if you are injured in an accident at work that:

  • Aggravates a prior condition
  • Exacerbates an earlier injury
  • Causes an old injury to flare up again
  • Worsens your physical health

Call Joye Law Firm. We can work to make sure your workers’ comp claim is not denied because of a pre-existing condition.

Joye Law Firm has been helping injured workers in South Carolina for many years. In some of these cases, our clients had a pre-existing medical condition and we were still able to win benefits.

Use this online contact form to contact our team. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin working on your case.

We take cases anywhere in South Carolina and have offices in Charleston, Clinton, Summerville, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach.