Can You Pursue Workers’ Comp Benefits If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition in Virginia Beach?

A lot of workers who sustained injuries on the job refuse to pursue workers’ compensation as they worry about their pre-existing conditions. After all, insurance companies may assert that the injury of a worker resulted from a previous health condition and wasn’t caused by a workplace accident. However, under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, workers whose pre-existing condition was aggravated by a work-related injury can pursue compensation. Because you must prove there was aggravation because of your current injury, you need to hire an injured at work lawyer Virginia Beach who can help you collect evidence. 

Common Pre-Existing Conditions that Can Be Aggravated by a Workplace Injury

If you had a herniated disc before that you were able to recover from after treatment and therapy, there is a chance you could deal with this injury again due to a workplace injury. When this happens, you may experience disabling back pain that makes it impossible for you to work or requires you to undergo lumbar fusion surgery. If you are in this situation, you can seek workers’ comp benefits to cover your medical treatment and lost wages because of your new disability. You may get temporary disability benefits, depending on how long you will be impaired. Other pre-existing conditions that a work-related accident can worse include shoulder injury, arthritis, knee pain, and foot pain. 

Proving Aggravation

When proving aggravation of your pre-existing condition, your attorney will first establish you sustained a work-related injury. Thus, your current injury has taken place within your work’s scope such as while you were lifting objects and stocking shelves. 

Then, your attorney will show causation, which can be established through the statement of your treating doctor, previous and current medical records, documentation of things you can do before that you can no longer do because of your new injury, and symptoms documentation. 

Your employer’s insurer will dispute your claim by saying your new injury is not work-related or did not aggravate your pre-existing condition. However, an attorney can present your case in a convincing way and with sufficient evidence.

When you consult with an attorney, you should be honest about your previous medical conditions and treatments. Inform them of any previous injury claims. Information on your previous conditions can help your workers’ comp claim. Ensure you hire an attorney who has years of experience successfully handling workers’ comp cases in Virginia Beach that involve pre-existing conditions. 

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