Pre-existing conditions and workers’ compensation

| Jul 1, 2021 | Blog, Workers Compensation

New Jersey workers who get injured on the job should immediately inform their employer. The employer then provides the necessary support to help the employee file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The insurance company completes an investigation and decides whether to award compensation for emergency and ongoing care.

Pre-existing conditions and workers’ comp claims

A pre-existing condition can arise from a previous workers’ compensation claim or as a result of a pre-existing condition unrelated to previous work. Workers’ compensation generally only provides relief for injuries that occur as the result of work-related duties. With a pre-existing condition, the employer could incur liability if the employee’s injury stemmed from the nature of the work itself.

A pre-existing condition may affect the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. When a pre-existing injury and the new injury occur to the same part of the body, the insurance company may experience difficulty in determining the level of compensation. In these cases, a third-party medical examiner often determines the extent of the injuries.

Regardless of whether a new injury made a pre-existing injury worse, the insurance provider typically pays compensation for any treatment associated with the new injury. Negotiations often occur between the worker’s lawyer and the insurance company in these cases.

Employers who inform their employees about potential insurance issues makes it easier to deal with these issues when an accident occurs.

Getting help for pre-existing conditions

Once an insurance company accepts a claim and offers compensation, the employee may decide to pursue a settlement. When this happens, the process gets more complicated, and the employer may have to prove that an injury didn’t occur from a work-related injury.

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