An individual’s pre-existing medical conditions can influence the outcome of their workers’ compensation claim. It is common for employers and insurers to argue that the individual’s injury isn’t work-related and thus they are not responsible. A pre-existing condition does not disqualify an individual from pursuing compensation claims when a work injury occurs or causes the pre-existing condition to worsen.
Common Pre-Existing Conditions
Some of the most common pre-existing conditions include torn ligaments, bone fractures, arthritis, knee injuries, sprains, and strains. There is no shortage of causes of these injuries and even when fully healed, individuals can suffer new injuries to the affected bones, joints, and muscle groups. The older people are, the more likely they have some form of pre-existing medical condition.
Pursuing Claims with Pre-Existing Conditions
Workers should promptly file a workers’ compensation claim following any injury. In Nevada, injured workers must file their claim within 90 days of the injury. Individuals should also discuss their pre-existing condition(s) with their physicians and evaluate how the work-related incident caused previous ailments to worsen. Documentation should cover the duration of pain episodes, the location of the pain and whether it’s radiating, pain frequency, and intensity of any pain the individual experiences. The more comprehensive the documentation, the less likely the insurer will find reasonable grounds to deny the claim.
Adhering to Medical Requests
Complying with medical requests and following through with prescribed medical treatment can help increase the worker’s chances of recovering financially through a workers’ comp settlement. The insurance company is likely to make numerous medical requests when a workers’ compensation claim is filed and there is a pre-existing condition. They may ask for medical documents that relate to the pre-existing condition, incident reports that describe the onset of the original injury, or they may even request an independent medical examination to evaluate whether the condition was truly aggravated by a work-related accident or exposure.
Although the employer may attempt to use this information as a way to minimize a settlement or deny liability for the injuries, failing to comply with records requests, medication schedules, and therapy regimens can also give the insurer cause to deny the claim.