Work injuries and work illnesses are a significant issue in Arizona. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that more than 57,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses happened in the state in 2021 alone. Of course, not everyone who is hurt on the job has a pristine medical history. You could suffer a work-related injury that is the aggravation of a pre-existing ailment.
This raises an important question: Can you claim workers’ comp benefits if you have a pre-existing condition in Arizona? The answer is “yes”—but there are some unique challenges to be aware of. In this article, our Arizona workers’ compensation lawyer provides an in-depth guide to the key things that you should know about pre-existing conditions and work injury claims.
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is a medical ailment, illness, or health issue that an individual had prior to obtaining health insurance coverage. These conditions can range from mild to severe and are often a point of concern for insurance providers, as they may require ongoing medical care and treatment. Some of the most common pre-existing conditions include:
- Asthma: A chronic respiratory condition that is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of airways. It is variable in its severity and can lead to problems with breathing.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results in high blood sugar levels due to insufficient insulin production. It is one of the most common chronic medical conditions in the United States.
- Back Injuries: Various types of back problems, such as herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis, which can cause pain, discomfort, and limited mobility.
- Sprains and Strains: Injuries to ligaments, typically caused by stretching or tearing, commonly affecting the ankle, knee, or wrist.
- Arthritis: A group of joint disorders characterized by inflammation, pain, and stiffness, with the most common types being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
You Can Seek Workers’ Comp Benefits for the “Aggravation” of a Pre-Existing Injury
Here is the key thing about workers’ comp claims and pre-existing conditions: You can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even if you aggravated a pre-existing condition in Arizona. The “aggravation” of a pre-existing injury refers to a situation where a new work-related injury or an existing workplace condition exacerbates an individual’s previously existing ailment or disability.
In these cases, the injured worker may qualify for benefits to cover the costs associated with medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses. To successfully claim workers’ comp benefits for the aggravation of a pre-existing injury in Arizona, the claimant must demonstrate that their current employment or work-related activity directly contributed to the worsening of their condition.
Three Tips for Filing for Workers’ Comp Benefits for an Aggravation Pre-Existing Condition
When filing for workers’ compensation benefits for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, it is essential to follow the proper steps to ensure that your claim is processed efficiently and accurately. Here are three crucial tips for filing a workers’ comp claim for an aggravated pre-existing condition
- Get Prompt Medical Treatment and Follow-Up Care: As soon as you notice the aggravation of your pre-existing condition due to a work-related incident, seek immediate medical attention. Prompt diagnosis and treatment not only contribute to your well-being but also serve as valuable evidence for your workers’ comp claim.
- Beware of Hiding Your Pre-Existing Injury: Be upfront and honest about your pre-existing condition when filing a workers’ comp claim. Hiding or downplaying your injury can lead to complications or even denial of your claim. Be transparent with your employer and your healthcare provider about your pre-existing condition and how it has been aggravated by your work-related activities.
- Be Ready to Get Professional Help: You do not have to take on the workers’ compensation claims process alone. If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by a workplace accident, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Arizona workers’ comp lawyer right away. Your attorney can help you build a comprehensive case to protect your rights and maximize your financial benefits.
Contact Our Arizona Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Immediate Help
At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers have the expertise you can trust. If you have any questions or concerns about pre-existing conditions and work injury claims, we can help. Give us a call at (877) 370-5788 or contact us online to arrange a no cost, no obligation case evaluation. With offices in Phoenix, Tucson. Flagstaff, Yuma, and Lake Havasu, we handle workers’ compensation claims and workers’ compensation appeals throughout Arizona.