Mar 19, 2020

How a Pre-existing Condition Impacts a Workers’ Comp Case

Thousands of workers’ are injured on the job every day. Inevitably, many of these individuals will have pre-existing conditions that become aggravated due to their work injuries. Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims can be unfairly denied because of a pre-existing condition. Below, we discuss how pre-existing conditions impact workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.

Defining a Pre-existing Condition

A pre-existing condition can be anything from a degenerative disease to the aftermath of a previous work injury you sustained. Under Georgia law, aggravation of pre-existing conditions is covered by workers’ compensation.

Common types of conditions that may become aggravated on the job include:

  • Degenerative disk disease;

  • Arthritis, such as that affecting the knees, shoulder, or hands

  • Previous back or shoulder injuries

  • Previous knee injuries

  • Carpal tunnel

Even if these conditions themselves are not aggravated, they may cause a work accident that could lead to another injury.

Pre-existing Conditions and Workers’ Comp Benefits

Ultimately, Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation will decide whether the injury is related to work and to what extent it was aggravated because of duties performed on the job. They will consider three different scenarios when looking at your pre-existing condition:

  1. Related to a Previous Claim. If your condition is related to an older workers’ comp claim, you can still receive benefits, but your benefits may be reduced to account for the previous claim.

  2. Not Related to a Previous Claim. If your condition is related to the natural aging process or another injury outside of work, then you may be able to claim benefits only to the degree that your condition worsened due to job duties.

  3. Completely Unrelated. If your pre-existing condition is completely unrelated and made worse on the job, your employer should pay you full benefits.

If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggregated on the job, contact The Law Offices of Nathaniel Hansford to discuss your workers’ compensation case. Our seasoned Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases, and we will work hard to ensure you obtain the maximum workers’ comp benefits that may be available to you.

Contact our firm at 770-922-3660 to schedule your free case review!