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Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions in Workers’ Comp Claims in New York

If you have a medical condition and were injured at work, you’re probably wondering if you could apply for workers’ compensation in New York. While it can be more challenging in some circumstances, the state has protections to ensure any worker can file a claim. Find out how pre-existing conditions could affect your case and how you can successfully navigate yours to seek justice for your injuries.

What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is any medical issue you had before you filed your claim. While the list is quite broad for pre-existing conditions, some of the most common ones relating to workers’ comp claims include:

  • Back problems
  • Heart conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Injuries you sustained during previous accidents

Just because you have a pre-existing condition, it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from winning compensation. In some cases, however, it may affect the final payout and the duration of your benefits.

How Pre-Existing Conditions Can Affect A Workers’ Comp Claim

Your employer’s insurance company will almost always try to find ways to dismiss your claim. They will look at your medical records, including any pre-existing conditions that could’ve played a role in your incident. If they can prove your previous medical issue was to blame, they may try to give you a lower payout or deny your benefits altogether. 

For example, suppose you injured your leg during a previous construction accident and then injured it again this time. Your employer’s insurance company could argue that your pre-existing injury was to blame instead of the recent incident.  In this case, making a clear connection between your current injuries and your recent accident would be crucial to winning your case.

New York Workers’ Comp Laws On Pre-Existing Conditions

New York’s workers’ comp system provides benefits to all employees injured at work, regardless if they have a pre-existing condition or not. The law also lets you claim benefits if your recent accident caused a pre-existing condition to worsen. That said, this could be difficult to prove, especially if the defendant’s insurance company argues that your pre-existing condition was the main reason for your current injury.

Navigating A Workers’ Comp Claim With A Pre-Existing Condition

While you can still get benefits with pre-existing health issues, you may need to take extra steps to protect yourself and ensure you’re still eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Seek treatment immediately and tell your doctor about your pre-existing condition
  • Let your employer know about your injury in a timely manner
  • Keep detailed evidence of your medical treatment and work absences due to your injury
  • Be open about your pre-existing condition so the insurance company doesn’t use it to their advantage

Let Our Experienced Attorneys Help You

A pre-existing condition won’t stop you from applying for benefits but can make your case more challenging. For this reason, hiring a reliable attorney will help you navigate your claim and build a strong case against your employer. Our professional workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of experience helping injured workers across Long Island and NYC seek justice for their injuries. If you have any questions or want to schedule a free consultation, please contact us online or call our office at 877-693-2529 today.

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