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Does a Pre-Existing Injury Still Qualify for Workers Comp?

construction worker

Many workplace accidents are preventable or isolated incidents: a chemical spill, a coworker’s negligence makes you slip and fall, faulty wiring creates an unsafe work environment.

But what if you’re injured on the job due to a pre-existing condition? Say your recurrent back issues flare up during a particularly heavy day of work and leave you unable to move without pain. In this scenario, are you still eligible for workers’ compensation?

If you aggravate an old injury on the job, or if recovery from a workplace injury doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d hope, you still have options for compensation and potential disability benefits.

When an Injury Aggravates a Condition

waitress with tray

In the case of preexisting injuries flaring up due to physical labor, it’s important to note where the flare-up occurred. If you were on the jobsite, or performing a task for your employers off the strict confines of the jobsite, your injury is generally covered under most workers’ compensation policies and laws.

Why is this?

To put it plainly: your condition reared its ugly head because you were in an environment conducive for strain or other harm. Had you not been on your jobsite performing the task that aggravated your condition, it’s likely you would not have had to deal with your injury, at least not in the manner it presented itself on the job.

When Recovery Stagnates

recovering from work injury

Old injuries—especially recurrent impairments like spinal issues that result in unresponsive back pain—tend to stick around and be more difficult in recovery.

So if your back injury takes its sweet time healing, what options do you have?

Even if your recovery allows you partial access to the tasks you used to be able to perform at work, you can still be eligible for a certain kind of disability benefit that comes via workers compensation: permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.

This type of coverage works just like regular workers compensation. You must have a doctor’s written orders to keep you on light work or sedentary work, as well as any other job-specific restrictions that keep you from performing tasks expected from a perfectly healthy employee. Doctors will typically issue these restrictions after a series of wellness tests to determine whether or not your still-present injury is continuing to hinder you.

Help from an Indiana Workers Compensation Lawyer

Your current place in life shouldn’t have to hang in the balance of the unpredictability of an old injury. If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace injury because of a pre-existing condition, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indiana workers compensation lawyers are here to help.