1

Get started today

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

Fill out the form and someone from our team will contact you. 

Free Consultation

Do Prior Injuries Mean I Cannot Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

by FranksKoenig NeuweltAug 13, 2020

Do Prior Injuries Mean I Cannot Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

By Valarie Grossman, Esq.

workers compensation lawyerYou have been injured before. Who hasn’t? We are only human. But I would bet most of your prior injuries have not been at work. So do these prior injuries affect your worker’s compensation case? Does a prior injury affect your ability to get worker’s compensation benefits?

Yes – these injuries can affect your worker’s compensation case, but you are likely still entitled to benefits. So how does the worker’s compensation system account for these prior injuries?

Hypothetically, let’s say you suffer a slip and fall at work. When you fall, you break your hip. Is this an industrial injury? Absolutely. Now, let’s say you had also previously broken your hip years ago. What does that mean for your new injury? As the attorneys at Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld can explain, it will depend on how the more recent slip and fall is apportioned.

Wait? Apportionment? What is that? Don’t worry – apportionment, an important concept in worker’s compensation, is easier to understand than it sounds. This is a legal way of saying that if an injury has multiple causes, then the permanent disability is divided based on the percentage each cause, or factor, is responsible for the injury.

For another example, let’s say you have a pre-existing heart condition, and your work duties were stressful in nature. Say the stress from your job worsened your heart condition. In this case, an industrial heart injury occurred, but a percentage of the disability from that heart condition would be credited, or apportioned, to the pre-existing factors. A doctor in the worker’s compensation system would then decide how to apportion, or divide out, the responsibility for the injury. In this case, claim should be admitted as an industrial injury, but the permanent disability benefits would be reduced proportionally to the amount of disability the doctor apportions, or credits, to the pre-existing condition(s). Notice, the existence of a pre-existing condition does not prevent one from getting worker’s compensation benefits. To be eligible for benefits, there just needs to be some industrial causation to the injury. Total causation of the injury is not required.

It is important you discuss your individual case with your worker’s compensation attorney as each case has different factors and considerations that come into play. The type of injury you have, the extent of your prior injuries, how fully you recovered from the prior injuries, and the affected body parts will all be important factors.

Speak with your attorney – do not assume your prior injury prohibits you from receiving benefits from your work-related injury. It is possible you are still entitled to benefits from the Worker’s Compensation system.

 

Palm Beach car accident lawyer

We have offices in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. It is not only important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer when you have been hurt on the job, it is also the best way to make sure that you receive proper medical services and lost wages you are entitled to under the law. After all, the Workers’ Compensation law was created to protect you – the employee.

See what Our Clients Have To Say

Florida’s Most Trusted Workers’ Comp Attorneys

Devin Major
Devin Major
August 9, 2022.
Verified
Best team I had ever working for me I really hope anybody who needs legal advise call them
Gregory Diggs
Gregory Diggs
August 4, 2022.
Verified
I recommend this law firm to anyone with a worker's compensation case. The staff does a great job and they treat you like family. Judd Koenig was my attorney and went the extra mile and then some more securing my a nice settlement of my case.
Cynthia Murray
Cynthia Murray
August 3, 2022.
Verified
Great Attorney thank you Eric Lakind and staff Attentive, friendly, answered ever questions got results when I could not do it myself Cynthia
Naisha Dorvilus
Naisha Dorvilus
August 2, 2022.
Verified
Lisa was my lawyer she asked me questions and was very helpful. She and her team communicated with me about my cause and I'm super happy with her service.i will definitely recommend her and her company
Jaime Ieli
Jaime Ieli
July 29, 2022.
Verified
My husband was hurt and never dealt with an attorney before. He looked up attorneys online & thru the grace of God got Lissa Dorsey as his attorney & she was truly amazing! She was very involved, always returned our phone calls & made the whole process as easy for us as she possibly could while my husband treated with Dr's and started his healing process. I would recommend her to any & everyone without a doubt.
Evelin Hernandez
Evelin Hernandez
July 21, 2022.
Verified
Best law firm in Palm Beach County, Lisa and Kim were the best. I recommend this law firm to everyone.
Tammy Dault
Tammy Dault
July 20, 2022.
Verified
Wasn't sure how it would work with me being in one town and lawyer in another but it all worked out in the end thank you for all your hard work.
Brandon moore
Brandon moore
July 19, 2022.
Verified
Great understanding lawyers! They were great in getting me a fair settlement and quick to respond to any questions I had. Thanks Kim and Lisa!
john heller
john heller
July 12, 2022.
Verified
They were always responsive to my calls did an excellent job of getting everything I needed. When it came time To settle my case Andy and J did an excellent job I’m very happy with the outcome and very happy with this law firm I would highly recommend them!!!!