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    How Do Prior Injuries Affect Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

    What is a prior injury?

    A prior, or pre-existing, injury is one that already existed before the new, current injury occurred. It typically refers to an injury to the same body part or area. 

    What is “aggravation of a pre-existing condition?”

    It is often the case that a prior injury is aggravated at work. This is known as aggravation of a pre-existing condition. For example, if an employee already has a herniated disc, lifting and moving large boxes at work will likely aggravate that pre-existing condition. 

    Is coverage available if there was a prior injury?

    Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, it is possible for an employee to obtain coverage for aggravation of a pre-existing condition. The aggravation itself is viewed as a new injury. The key to obtaining coverage for the aggravation of a prior injury is the ability to show that the aggravation occurred in relation to the employee’s course of employment. A Lancaster workers comp lawyer can assist injured employees in proving this connection.

    Another critical factor to note is that it is not required that the prior injury has been caused in the course of employment. For example, if an employee suffers a back injury in a car accident while off-duty, and that injury is later aggravated by their employment, they may be eligible for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.

    How do employers try to avoid paying for aggravated prior injuries?

    One common argument among insurance companies and employers to avoid having to provide coverage to a newly aggravated pre-existing condition is that they were never made aware of the prior injury. However, Pennsylvania law does not require that the employer have been made aware of the pre-existing injury for the employee to receive the workers’ compensation benefits. When an employer or insurance company denies your claim for this or any other reason, you need to consult with a Lancaster workers comp lawyer.

    What are some examples of prior injuries that can be aggravated, causing a new injury?

    Some pre-existing injuries tend to be more easily aggravated than others. This includes injuries sustained to the legs, back, shoulders, and hands. While these injuries can occur in many different occupations, they occur more often in the service industry, production industry, and transportation and material moving industry. 

    Who do I contact about obtaining coverage for an aggravated prior injury?

    When you have been denied coverage for an injury that is an aggravation of a pre-existing injury, it is important to have a Lancaster workers comp lawyer on your side. At Vanasse Law, LLC, we are a firm that advocates for our clients so they can receive the compensation they are owed. We understand the arguments insurance carriers use to deny coverage, and we will help you overcome them. You may contact us by calling 717-397-1010 or via our contact page.