Most New Jersey workers have health complaints. Just because you’re going to your job day in and day out doesn’t mean you’re perfectly healthy. However, what happens to a worker when he or she has a prior health compliant caused by a previous job, and it’s made worse by his or her current job?
Imagine, for example, that your bum knee or bum back gets so bad that you can’t work anymore, but technically, you already had that injury before taking on your current job? Injuries like this are known as “pre-existing conditions.”
When a pre-existing condition relates to a previous workers’ compensation claim, workers can still recover money to pay for medical care. In fact, employers are legally obligated to pay for your full medical care expenses, and expenses related to time spent unable to work.
It’s important for workers to remember that there’s no such thing as “double-dipping” in workers’ compensation law. If you’re still receiving workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries from your previous job, and getting money to pay for medical care, then your latest job will only be required to pay the extra money that reflects the increased severity of your condition.
For example, imagine that you were previously awarded $5,000 related to your permanent workers’ compensation injury in your prior job. However, now you are eligible to receive a $10,000 permanent injury award. Your new employer’s insurance company will only be required to pay the $5,000 increase.
Do you have questions about your previous workers’ compensation claims and how they will potentially affect your current claims? A Manalapan workers’ compensation lawyer can help you sort through this issue to determine your legal rights and options.