Aggravation Of A Preexisting Condition

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured at work or become ill due to your workplace environment, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation even if you have a preexisting medical condition. Boston workers’ compensation attorney Michael O. Smith provides injured workers with the legal representation they need in their workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Smith has extensive experience advising clients on their eligibility for benefits, including lost wages and coverage for medical expenses. He aggressively advocates for clients whose claims have been denied by insurers. If you were injured at work, call us today to see how we can help.

Workers’ Compensation and Preexisting Conditions

Employers in Massachusetts must obtain workers’ compensation insurance to cover any injuries or illnesses their workers may suffer at work. A worker with a current medical condition or illness is not precluded from claiming benefits simply because of his or her preexisting medical condition. If a preexisting medical condition was exacerbated by a work-related injury, a worker may be able to receive workers’ compensation for the aggravated condition. It is important to remember that a worker may not recover benefits for injuries that occurred before the worker began working at their current job or for any injuries that occurred outside the workplace. He or she may only recover if a work-related injury or illness aggravated their preexisting condition.

The process for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits may be more complex for a worker with a preexisting condition. State law can make it more difficult for these workers to obtain benefits in certain cases, but with the proper guidance and representation, a worker may be able to overcome the heightened hurdles.

Preexisting Conditions and a Major Cause of Disability

A worker who makes a claim for workers’ compensation will be subject to various medical exams and tests to determine the extent of his or her disability: whether it is total and permanent, total but temporary, or partial. The medical exams will bring to light any preexisting medical conditions that a worker may have. If there is a preexisting condition, an insurer or employer may argue that the worker’s injury or illness is a manifestation of that condition and bears no relation to his or her actual work or work-related injury. This is known as the combination injury defense.

Once the defense is raised, the worker has to demonstrate that the workplace injury or illness is a major cause of his or her disability or need for treatment. The workplace contribution to the injury need not be the predominant cause of the injury or illness, but it must be a major cause of it.

If you suffered an injury at work that aggravated a preexisting condition, you may still qualify for benefits. An insurer or employer may try to use your preexisting condition as a basis for denying your claim or try to limit the amount of benefits it will pay out. You should retain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can competently handle any potential arguments raised by the insurer to bar your right to recovery.

Capable Legal Representation for Your Claim

Boston workers’ compensation lawyer Michael O. Smith helps injured workers obtain the benefits they are entitled to receive under the law. Mr. Smith has practiced law for more than 15 years and has handled countless workers’ compensation claims during that time. His experience as a former insurance defense attorney and workers’ compensation claims adjuster makes him uniquely prepared to tackle arguments against your claim. Mr. Smith negotiates settlements and represents claimants at hearings before the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. His commitment to exceptional client service means he will give your case the attention and vigorous representation it deserves. He serves clients throughout the Boston area. Call us today at 617-263-0060 or complete our online form to arrange a free initial consultation.