Pre-Existing Conditions for Workers in Tulare County

When you are injured at work, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Benefits could cover the reasonable cost of your medical care and part of your lost income. However, to qualify, you must meet certain requirements state law sets forth. If you have a pre-existing illness, injury, or condition, receiving the benefits you deserve could be even more complicated. It is critical to have a well-versed workers’ compensation attorney at Silberman & Lam to advocate on your behalf.

Your employer is obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits when you sustain an injury at work. However, those with pre-existing conditions may face barriers to obtaining these benefits. A skilled lawyer could help you navigate pre-existing conditions for workers in Tulare County, help you file a claim, and demonstrate that your pre-existing condition should not preclude or limit your coverage.

State Workers’ Compensation Law on Pre-Existing Conditions

Under state law, pre-existing conditions do not preclude an employee from receiving workers’ compensation coverage in Tulare County. Employers are still required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. However, it could impact the amount of compensation the worker receives. For example, if the pre-existing condition contributed to the injury or illness, the permanent disability may be reduced. However, there are many cases where the pre-existing conditions may entitle the injured worker for additional benefits from the Subsequent Injury Benefit Trust Fund, or SIBTF.

Employees who have a pre-existing condition must show that the aggravated injury either:

  • Changed the existing treatment plan
  • Created a need for additional medical treatment
  • Caused temporary or permanent disability increases

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

One challenge regarding workers’ compensation claims when the injured person has a pre-existing condition is showing that the injury or illness was aggravated or caused by work-related activities. Generally, insurers will argue that an employee’s injury or illness was not caused by their job duties but rather by their pre-existing condition, which could preclude their coverage. It may be particularly difficult to demonstrate that an injury is work-related when the pre-existing condition is a chronic condition, such as hypertension or diabetes. However an experienced workers compensation attorney may be able to help you prove your case.

Unrelated Pre-Existing Conditions

For workers who have unrelated, pre-existing conditions, they may not face issues with their coverage. For example, when an employee breaks their arm on the job but has diabetes, their condition may not impact their benefits. However, when a job injury aggravates an unrelated pre-existing condition, the Tulare County employee will need to seek medical opinions to prove the job caused the aggravation.

A Tulare County Lawyer Could Help You Navigate a Claim Regarding a Pre-Existing Condition

State law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage even for pre-existing conditions for workers in Tulare County. Hiring a diligent attorney early on could help guarantee your success. If you are denied workers’ compensation benefits because of a pre-existing illness, injury, or condition, you have options. Our experienced attorneys at Silberman & Lam are familiar with the appeals process and could help you dispute the denial of your benefits.

Contact us for an initial consultation today.