Were you recently injured at work, but you just so happened to be injured
in the exact place that you were injured before? If your answer is “yes,”
the location of your new injury can be a bit unsettling. Perhaps now you’re
wondering if the injury will be covered by
workers’ compensation, especially if everyone at your work knows about the old injury.
Suppose you were in a bad car accident a year ago, and you had to wear
a neck brace. Everybody at work knew about the
neck injury because you two weeks from work and when you returned, you were wearing
the neck brace. Fast forward to today, you were recently struck in the
head by a fork lift and you’re complaining of significant neck pain
and headaches, and your doctor says you need surgery. Will your neck injury
from the year before preclude you from filing a workers’ compensation
claim? After all, your previous injury is recorded in your medical records.
Pre-Existing Injuries Are Sensitive
If you were struck by a forklift, or if you had another perfectly legitimate
injury that happened to affect an area that was injured before, the pre-existing
injury should not bar you from filing a workers’ compensation claim.
However, depending on the nature and severity of the old injury and the
new injury, you may have to tread carefully. It is possible for your employer
or their insurance company to want to deny your claim because of the pre-existing injury.
In reality, it may be much easier to convince the insurance company that
you need workers’ compensation because of a traumatic accident that
involved several witnesses. On the other hand, if you’re claiming
that you have a repetitive motion injury, or disk degeneration, or an
injury caused by a recent
auto accident (work-related), it may be harder to convince the insurance company that
the new injuries are work-related, even if they 100% are.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in New York
If a recent workplace accident aggravated a
pre-existing injury, you will have to present a strong case. You will need to show evidence
that the pre-existing medical condition was made worse by the workplace
accident. Since your employer can try to argue that your complaints stem
from your prior medical condition, it’s imperative to have an experienced
New York workers’ compensation attorney from our firm by your side,
advocating on your behalf.
Contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman today for a free case evaluation!