Pre-Existing Injuries in Mt. Pleasant
Workers’ Comp Lawyer with Decades of Experience
Many workers in South Carolina are aware that if they’ve been injured or have fallen ill as a direct result of their employment, they’re eligible to file an application to receive workers’ comp benefits. These benefits include reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages that workers miss out on when they have to take time off to heal, and the program is a whole is designed to protect workers from financial hardships after accidents. However, some workers may be wondering whether their pre-existing conditions can qualify them to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Does Workers' Comp Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
To learn more about pre-existing conditions and whether yours can be covered, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Mt. Pleasant attorney at Bluestein Johnson & Burke, LLC. With decades of experience handling workers’ comp claims for employees across a variety of industries, we can be trusted to give you the legal counsel you need during a challenging time.
What is a Pre-Existing Injury?
1 in 2 Americans suffers from pre-existing medical conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In the context of workers’ comp law, a pre-existing condition is a previous medical condition – usually an old injury that happened in the past – that has continued to affect your ability to work.
Common pre-existing conditions include:
- Heart disease
- Neck or back injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Depression and anxiety
- Degenerative Disc Disease
According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer from back injuries, and these injuries add up to almost 20% of all workplace injuries. Though these injuries or illnesses may initially allow you to perform your work without any issues, a workplace accident can easily exacerbate an earlier injury, cause a flare-up, and worsen your overall physical health.
How South Carolina’s Workers Comp System Treats Pre-Existing Conditions
Workers can still receive workers’ compensation benefits even if they have a pre-existing condition, according to the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 42-9-35 (A). Workers who aggravate their pre-existing conditions must show that the aggravation was caused by the performance of their current job.
The specific elements that workers must show in order to gain access to benefits include:
- The injury that occurred in the accident aggravated the pre-existing condition
- The pre-existing condition aggravates the subsequent injury
While some workers may be worried that they won’t be able to secure benefits if they didn’t disclose their pre-existing conditions before, the good news is that your employer’s knowledge of your condition isn’t relevant. Failure to disclose your condition to your employer when you begin working won’t make you ineligible. South Carolina’s laws don’t punish employees for their conditions, despite what some may think.
How Our Team Can Help
Under South Carolina’s workers’ comp system, workers, including those who have aggravated a pre-existing condition, can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission allows workers to secure 66 and 2/3 percent of their weekly wages for temporary disability, along with extra coverage if they’re permanently disabled.
Our workers’ comp attorney can help prove that your pre-existing conditions were aggravated in relation to your current job in order to qualify you for coverage. We can also make sure that your workers’ comp payments cover the entirety of your medical expenses, including surgeries, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and more. We’re also able to file your claims in a timely manner to comply with South Carolina’s statute of limitations. Injured workers have two years from the date of injury to the date they discover their injury.
For years, our team has been dedicated to protecting workers’ rights and helping them after traumatic accidents. We’re ready to help you.
For accessible and communicative service, reach out to our Mt. Pleasant attorney today at (843) 418-0750. With years of experience handling workers’ comp claims in South Carolina, we can be trusted to help you if you have a pre-existing condition.
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