Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition in Port St. Lucie

The most common job category for Port St. Lucie residents is office administration, with sales and restaurant services following closely behind. Health care services are another common occupation for Floridians in this region. The diverse nature of job opportunities is part of what makes Port St. Lucie a wonderful place to live, but it also means that there are a wide variety of dangers that workers face on a daily basis. From sudden car accidents on the job to injuries that arise over time from prolonged activities like typing, the Florida workers’ compensation system is designed to assist workers with the financial stresses that they face after suffering an on-the-job injury or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. At Donaldson & Weston, our Port St. Lucie workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to help you assert your right to compensation.

Pursuing Benefits Related to the Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition

Knowing how to assert your right to compensation after a work injury can be difficult, particularly if your injuries are extensive and painful. Retaining an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at the beginning of the process can help things go more smoothly and help you ensure that you are asserting the full extent of your rights from the beginning. If you have been injured at work, it is critical that you notify your employer as soon as possible so that it can file a claim with its workers’ compensation carrier.

The insurer will then begin an investigation into your injury, which starts with a medical examination provided by an authorized health care professional. It is important for you to be honest during this examination and to provide truthful information about the nature and extent of your existing injuries as well as your new or aggravated injuries. The physician will make a determination in this examination regarding whether your injury is partial or total and whether it is temporary or permanent. These two parameters are then used to determine the amount of weekly benefit payments that you are entitled to receive for your lost wages and the likely duration of those payments. In addition to compensation for lost wages, injured workers are also eligible to receive compensation for any medical expenses associated with the injury.

It is not uncommon for individuals to have pre-existing health conditions. Whether you injured your back while playing sports in high school, you experienced a prior severe injury in a construction accident, or you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, you are not disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if a work-related accident results in the aggravation of a pre-existing condition. This type of claim presents unique challenges, however, and many insurance companies will attempt to deny coverage of your claim, citing the prior injury as the primary cause of your pain and suffering. To qualify as an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, the current injury must constitute at least 51 percent of the disability. If the insurance company determines that your pre-existing condition is the major contributing cause, it may deny the claim or offer you minimal coverage under the insurance policy. The insurer has the burden of showing that the existing injury is the major contributing cause, which often involves conducting multiple medical examinations and obtaining testimony or reports from these doctors regarding the existing injury and the new injury.