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Will a Pre-Existing Condition Bar Me from Workers’ Compensation Benefits? 

Will a Pre Existing Condition Bar Me from Workers' Compensation Benefits
Will a Pre Existing Condition Bar Me from Workers' Compensation Benefits

Pre-existing conditions can greatly influence the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim in West Palm Beach, Florida. Insurance companies review these conditions closely, often using them as grounds to deny or diminish claims.

The difficulty is demonstrating that your condition worsened due to a recent workplace incident. Our workers’ compensation attorney in Florida is dedicated to guiding you through this challenging process.

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions include any injuries or illnesses diagnosed before experiencing any work-related injury or illness. For instance, back and spine injuries frequently arise in workers’ compensation claims.

Your claim may face denial if you have a history of back issues. However, if your current injury genuinely exacerbates your back condition, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

In order to recover benefits, you must clearly demonstrate that the work accident worsened your existing injury. In these cases, the “major contributing cause” rule will significantly influence your ability to receive benefits.

Demonstrating Major Contributing Cause

In Florida, claims will be approved or denied based on the role of a major contributing cause (MCC). Florida Statute §440.09 states that a physician must confirm that your work-related injury accounts for over 50% of your current condition compared to all other factors combined. For this reason, having a strong record of your injuries before the accident and after can help you overcome any denials by the insurance company.

Working with a skilled West Palm Beach work injury lawyer can ensure you have the evidence needed to prove your case and get the benefits you are entitled to.

Steps to Take When Filing Your Claim

When filing a workers’ comp claim in Florida with a pre-existing condition, consider the following actions:

  • Maintain comprehensive medical records. These records should contain information related to both prior and current injuries. They provide helpful evidence demonstrating the deterioration of your pre-existing condition due to the new injury.
  • Report the accident immediately. To comply with Florida statute 440.185, you must notify your employer of the accident within 30 days of the incident to avoid claim denial.
  • Undergo medical examinations. The insurance company will request that you undergo a medical evaluation. This may involve an independent medical examination (IME) conducted by their physician, who will review your medical history thoroughly. You must comply with these requests to ensure you have the best chance of getting the benefits you deserve.

Working with a workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will give you the best chance of getting the benefits and compensation you deserve.

How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Florida Help?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is challenging under any circumstances. However, the process is even more difficult when you have a pre-existing condition.

Working with a knowledgeable West Palm Beach work injury lawyer is beneficial. Your attorney can help you in various ways when filing your claim.

  • Assessment of Your Case: A skilled attorney will review the details of your case, including your pre-existing injuries, to determine the strength of your claim. They’ll evaluate how your pre-existing condition may impact your eligibility for benefits and strategize accordingly.
  • Gathering Evidence: Your attorney will assist in collecting relevant medical records and documentation related to both your pre-existing injuries and the work-related accident. This evidence will demonstrate how the workplace incident exacerbated your pre-existing condition.
  • Handling Insurance Companies: Your attorney will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, advocating for your rights and working to secure the benefits you deserve.
  • Negotiating Settlements: If the insurance company offers a settlement, your attorney will negotiate to ensure that it adequately compensates you for your injuries, including any aggravation of pre-existing conditions. They will work toward a fair resolution covering your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Representation in Appeals: If your claim is denied or disputed, your attorney will represent you in the appeals process. They’ll prepare and present your case before the workers’ compensation board or court, seeking to overturn the decision and obtain your entitled benefits.

Throughout the process, your attorney will provide you with personalized legal advice and support. Your workers’ compensation attorney in Florida will answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you step-by-step through each stage of the workers’ compensation claim process.

Call Our West Palm Beach Work Injury Lawyer Today

If you were involved in a workplace accident that exacerbated an injury that you previously had, you must reach out to our legal team right away. With the help of our West Palm Beach work injury lawyer at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., you can navigate this often challenging process and receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Our team is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers and ensuring they receive the necessary support and compensation they deserve. Don’t let a pre-existing condition stop you from seeking the help you need after an injury in the workplace. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help overcome any barriers between you and your rightful benefits.

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