When a workplace injury occurs, it can throw a wrench into your life, affecting not only your health but also your financial stability.
If you already have a pre-existing injury, the road to securing workers’ compensation benefits can be even more challenging.
Documentation is key
One of the primary concerns when dealing with a pre-existing injury in a workers’ compensation claim is the potential for insurance companies to argue that your current injury relates to your prior one, rather than being solely a result of your work-related activities. To counter this, maintain meticulous documentation of your injury and how work duties exacerbated it.
Open communication with your employer
Informing your employer about your pre-existing injury as soon as possible after the new workplace injury is another important step. Transparency with your employer establishes a record of honesty and integrity, which can be beneficial in your claim. It also helps your employer understand the situation and potentially make necessary accommodations to prevent further injury.
Job duties and accommodations
Consider the nature of your job when dealing with a pre-existing injury. If your current job duties are physically demanding and put additional stress on your prior injury, discuss alternative job responsibilities with your employer. Modifying your duties to accommodate your condition can help prevent further aggravation of the injury and enhance your chances of a successful claim.
Considering that 683,502 people in California filed a workers’ compensation claim in 2021, it is clear that accidents happen. While a pre-existing injury can complicate a workers’ compensation claim, it does not mean you are ineligible for benefits.