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What Hurt Workers Need To Know About Preexisting Conditions

by Kristin Hawkins

The issue of preexisting conditions can be extremely confusing for many hurt workers. However, just because you have a preexisting condition doesn't mean you cannot be covered for a work injury. To find out more so that you can advocate for your rights to workers' compensation coverage, read on.

State Law Varies

All workers' compensation issues are covered by state laws — this is not a federal issue. However, some federal provisions do protect hurt workers and provide them with certain rights. For example, workers cannot be retaliated against for filing a workers' comp claim and that applies to all states. When it comes to preexisting condition coverage, many states don't allow coverage for injuries caused by a preexisting condition. However, if your injury meets the guidelines, you may be covered.

What Are Preexisting Conditions?

This term has been in the headlines in the past in relation to healthcare coverage. If you had high blood pressure before you began using a plan, that condition would not be covered. However, workers' compensation insurance is a bit different. All conditions you have been diagnosed with in the past are considered preexisting conditions, and what is covered depends on the nature of both the condition and the workplace injury when it comes to workers' compensation.

Old Workplace Injuries

In most cases, if you were injured in a previous job and you made a workers' compensation claim for that injury at the time, you might also be covered for an injury at a new job that is connected to the old injury. So, if you were covered before, then you are probably covered again for the injury. Also, if you are injured again while working at the same job, you are likely to be covered for another injury at that job.

Old Injuries Made Worse

If you have a preexisting condition or an old injury, you might be covered if you can show that certain job conditions made the old injury worse. For example, if you have previously been diagnosed with a heart condition and you had a heart attack while performing strenuous work on the job, you could be covered for that heart attack. However, this type of situation can be more challenging, and you may be initially denied coverage.

If you are unable to get the insurer to cover you and they are claiming that you have a preexisting condition, speak to a workers' comp lawyer for help with your case.

Contact a law firm for more information.