Can A Pre-existing Condition Prevent Me From Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides injured employees with benefits for work-related injuries. Some of the benefits an injured employee can recover after filing a workers’ compensation claim include medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits. But what if you had a pre-existing condition before you got involved in your work-related accident? Can you still recover workers’ compensation benefits?
Many people believe you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim and recover benefits if you have a pre-existing condition. However, the truth is that having a pre-existing condition does not automatically disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, you can be sure that the insurance company will try to use that against you.
If you were involved in a work-related injury and have a pre-existing condition, it is in your best interest to hire a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Also, if your claim has been denied because of a pre-existing condition, reach out to a skilled attorney.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law
Illinois law requires employers to pay workers’ compensation benefits to employees with pre-existing conditions if the job-related accident led to the aggravation or acceleration of the pre-existing condition. In other words, Illinois employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees with pre-existing conditions if the work-related accident worsened their pre-existing injury. Unless your employer can prove that your work-related accident did not worsen your pre-existing condition, they must pay you workers’ compensation benefits.
The policy behind employers being held accountable for injured employees is that employers must take employees as they find them. Employers are barred from distinguishing between physically sound workers and those who came to the job with a pre-existing condition.
Supporting Your Workers’ Compensation Claim if You Have a Pre-existing Condition
Although you have the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits if you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance company will still try to deny or devalue your claim. The good news, however, is that there are some steps you can take to raise your chances of recovering fair compensation in your workers’ compensation claim if you have a pre-existing condition. The following are some of these steps;
- Report your injury on time – In Illinois, you have 45 days to report your work injury to your employer. However, it is best that you inform your employer about your injury as soon as possible. If you hesitate to report your injury, the insurance company may try to devalue or deny your claim.
- Be honest with your doctor – Let your doctor know all the details about your pre-existing condition. Describe to your doctor in detail how your condition was before your accident and how it is after your accident. This includes sharing information about any pain and discomfort you are experiencing.
- Hire an attorney – One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are involved in a work-related accident and have a pre-existing condition is to hire an attorney. An attorney can fight for your right to recover the maximum benefits you deserve.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a work-related accident in Illinois and have a pre-existing condition, contact our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law for legal help.