Every state has laws that allows a worker to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits should they become injured or ill at work. In exchange for this coverage, a worker is prohibited from suing their employer because of the injury or illness. So, it is fair to wonder whether Workers’ Compensation benefits apply to pre-existing conditions.
Fortunately, a pre-existing injury or illness is generally covered if it is aggravated at work. According to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law, as well as other states, a worker is eligible for coverage should their pre-existing condition become aggravated or worsened because of a workplace incident or condition.
A pre-existing condition is considered an injury or illness that developed prior to employment. A few common examples of a pre-existing condition include:
- Back or neck injuries.
- Knee injuries.
- Auto-immune diseases.
- Herniated discs.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
According to Pennsylvania law, the aggravated injury is considered an entirely new injury, as long as the aggravation occurred at work or because of a work-related activity. This applies even if the employer was not aware of the pre-existing injury. According to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are required to provide these benefits regardless of awareness or visibility of the previous injury.
For example, a worker may have suffered a back injury in a car accident prior to working for a new company. While at work, the employee slipped and fell, aggravating the back injury, which would then become a herniated disc. The herniated disc is treated as a new injury and is coverable under Workers’ Compensation law.
The amount someone would receive for Workers’ Compensation benefits is largely based on the severity and classification of the new injury, the amount of wages lost because of the injury, and medical expenses. These medical expenses can include physical therapy, CT scans, X-rays, and other related treatments.
Delaware County Workplace Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Injured Workers With Pre-Existing Conditions
Even if you have a pre-existing illness or injury, you may still be covered by Workers’ Compensation benefits if you aggravate your condition. Talk to our Delaware County workplace accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello today. Call us at (610) 892-4940 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.