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Everybody deserves compensation when they sustain an injury or illness caused by the workplace. Unfortunately, there are times when workers’ compensation insurance carriers and employers delay or deny injury claims. Sometimes, these claims are denied because an employee had a pre-existing medical condition. At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we are here to fight for any worker who has trouble receiving their rightful compensation after a work injury. Here, our Van Nuys work injury attorneys want to discuss how a pre-existing condition can affect your workers’ compensation claim.

Aggravation of a pre-existing injury

Workers’ compensation claims in California that involve the aggravation of a pre-existing injury or illness are generally going to be more complicated than traditional workers’ comp claims. That is because you can almost guarantee that the employer or the workers’ compensation insurer will try to say that the injury was not working-related, thereby trying to get out of paying for the claim.

A pre-existing condition is defined as any injury or illness that affected an employee prior to a workplace accident or workplace exposure to harmful conditions. Some of the most common examples of pre-existing conditions include the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Arthritis
  • Mental health disorders
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Muscle strains
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Aggravation versus exasperation of a pre-existing condition

These cases often devolve into debates over vocabulary. While the everyday person may use the words “aggravation” and “exasperation” interchangeably, these two words mean different things under California workers’ compensation law.

  • An aggravation of a pre-existing condition means that the worker has sustained a new injury or illness under California law. If the condition or injury causes the employee to sustain a temporary or permanent increase in their disability or causes the need for new medical treatment or a change in their current treatment plan, this is an aggravation of a pre-existing injury.
  • The exasperation of a pre-existing condition occurs if the employee suffers from a work-related flareup of previous symptoms or a worsening of their symptoms. This is not considered a new injury under California workers’ compensation law.

The reality of these cases is that an employer or a workers’ compensation insurer will almost always strive to have the injury classified as an exasperation, not an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. It is crucial to work with an attorney who has extensive experience handling these cases to ensure that your work injury is classified appropriately.

Call our Van Nuys work injury lawyers today

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury but are having trouble securing compensation because of a pre-existing medical condition, contact an attorney today. At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry , our dedicated team will work diligently to investigate your claim and negotiate with every party involved to ensure that you receive full compensation. This can include:

  • Coverage of all medical expenses related to the workplace injury
  • Lost wages or wage replacement
  • Possible temporary or permanent disability

When you need a Van Nuys work injury attorney to help you secure compensation, you can reach out to us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-747-3447.