Compensation for Injured Workers with Pre-Existing Conditions

Workers’ compensation benefits are available to any worker who suffers injury or loses his or her life while performing work-related job duties. Some cases can be more complicated than others. For example, drivers who are in an accident while leaving or heading to work or workers who suffer illness. Can a worker collect compensation when they are injured as a result of a pre-existing or chronic condition? Every case is unique and should be reviewed by an experienced advocate. When pursuing workers’ compensation benefits after an accident or injury, it is important to know your rights and the potential obstacles you may face.


In some instances, workers with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, will often take longer to recover from an on-the-job injury. If the worker suffers from partial or permanent disability, workers’ compensation costs go up for employers. Even if an employer has advanced knowledge of the condition, workers’ compensation benefits may still extend to total cost of an injured workers medical care and lost wages. Some states, including Connecticut, Florida, New York, and California, allow disability benefits to be split between and employer and another responsible entity, such as a former employer or state-controlled injury fund.

Workers’ compensation claims can become more complicated when they are related to pre-existing conditions or contributing illnesses. For example thyroid disorders and hypertension are considered “contributors” or pre-existing conditions that may impact a workers’ health or ability to recover after an injury. Employers are likely going to challenge workers’ compensation benefits when the ongoing medical condition is not related to a work injury. Other examples of pre-existing conditions include diabetes, blood disease, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and obesity. These medical conditions have the potential to drive up claim costs and extend recovery time before a worker can return to job duties.

For every worker in the Carolinas, it is important to remember that you do have rights, regardless of your medical history. Our Asheville work accident attorneys know that no one is in perfect health. As we age, the aches pains, and ailments can become debilitating, and make it harder to recover in the event of an accident. When you go to work, of course your medical history, conditions and ailments will follow, but you should not be punished for pre-existing medical conditions.

Workers’ compensation programs give you access to medical treatment and lost wages, without having to prove fault or defend yourself after an accident. The system protects workers, regardless of the cause of the accident or injury. In most cases, the South Carolina workers’ compensation program covers workers with pre-existing conditions. If you had an old injury that was exacerbated by a workplace accident, you are entitled to compensation. If you have a pre-existing injury that was made worse as a result of repetitive stress, you are likely still entitled to compensation. While you do have rights under workers’ compensation laws, remember that some employers will challenge your claims. Consulting with an experienced advocate can help you protect your rights and benefits.

Contact the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:href=””>Independent Contractor Workers’ Comp and Third-Party Claims, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 20, 2013

New Legislation Aims to Bolster OSHA Role in Worker Safety, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2013

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