May I Apply for Workers’ Compensation for an Existing Injury?

If your preexisting ailment is made worse by your job or the conditions in which you work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workplace accidents and preexisting conditions made worse by employment are both protected by Virginia’s workers’ compensation system.

While most of these injuries were fresh, some were preexisting conditions that were made worse by the accident or the intense activity.

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover the worsening of preexisting injuries, but employers or insurers virtually always dispute such claims. Discuss your case possibilities Injured Workers Law Firm.

In Virginia, what constitutes a “pre-existing injury”?

An ailment or disease that existed before a work-related injury or illness is considered “pre-existing” for workers’ compensation purposes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A back injury you sustained many years ago may be still causing you problems at work. Any back pain like that would be deemed a preexisting condition.

Examples of preexisting ailments and illnesses that are commonly exacerbated on the job include:

  • The Medical Terminology for Herniated Discs
  • injury to ligaments
  • Cracked bones
  • Arthritic or degenerative joint disease
  • Disuse wasting disease of the spine
  • Damage to the knee
  • Aches and pains in the legs and arms
  • Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • The persistence of some long-term medical problems
  • Conditions of the mind that need medical attention

In the event of an aggravated injury, what compensation would you be entitled to?

You cannot seek or receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover the treatment of an existing injury or sickness. Unless, of course, your current position has worsened your condition. Some workers’ compensation benefits are available if you can show that your job aggravated your injury or illness.

Any care for your worsened injury or condition, including but not limited to:

  • Stays at the Hospital
  • Seeing the Doctor
  • Analysis in the laboratory and other diagnostic procedures
  • Medication that needs a doctor’s prescription
  • Remedy via Movement or Exercise
  • Prostheses
  • The price of medical care, including visits to your family doctor and any specialists you might need
  • Payment for travel expenses incurred while attending medical visits
  • Pay for retraining in case you have to change careers or do lighter duties due to a recurrence of an old injury.
  • Benefits partially replace lost income up to the maximum allowed under Virginia law.
  • Disablement payments can range from temporary partial to permanent partial to permanent total, depending on the kind and extent of your injury.

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