Pre-existing conditions can have a significant impact on a workers’ compensation claim in Lakeland, Florida. These conditions are often closely examined by insurance companies, as they can serve as a basis to deny or reduce a claim.
The challenge lies in proving that your condition was aggravated by a recent workplace accident. Our Lakeland workers’ comp lawyers are here to help you navigate this process. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for help with your claim.
Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions
Pre-existing conditions are any injuries or illnesses that you were diagnosed with before suffering any injury or illness related to your job.
For example, back and spine injuries are common in workers’ comp claims. If you have a history of back problems, your claim may be denied. However, if the current injury has genuinely worsened your back condition, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
What Florida Workers’ Comp Law Says
Florida Statutes §440.09, if a workplace injury worsens or aggravates an existing injury or condition, a doctor must confirm that the workplace injury is more than 50% responsible for the current state of your disability.
If you have a pre-existing condition and are filing a workers’ comp claim in Florida, here are some steps you should take:
- Keep all medical records related to the previous injury as well as those associated with the current workplace injury. This evidence will be invaluable in proving that the new injury has made your previous condition worse.
- Report your work injury promptly. Florida statute 440.185 states that you have 30 days from the injury to notify your employer. If you miss that deadline, your claim will likely be denied.
- Promptly comply with a medical examination request made by the insurance company. They will likely ask for an independent medical examination (IME) in which their physician will examine you and thoroughly go over your past medical records.
The Principle of Major Contributing Cause
In Florida, the principle of major contributing cause (MCC) is crucial in workers’ compensation claims. According to Florida Statute §440.09, a doctor must confirm that you must a work-related injury is more than 50 percent responsible for your current condition, compared to all other causes combined.
Insurers sometimes use MCC as a defense against paying a claim.
The Role of a Lakeland Workers Comp Lawyer
Having a competent attorney can make a significant difference in your workers’ compensation claim, especially when dealing with pre-existing conditions. An experienced attorney can help gather the necessary medical evidence, navigate the complexities of the law, and advocate for your rights during the claim process.
Gathering Medical Evidence
A crucial part of any workers’ compensation claim is the medical evidence. This includes records of your treatment, doctor’s notes, and any other documentation that supports your claim. An attorney can help you gather this evidence, ensuring that it is complete and accurately reflects your condition. They can also work with medical experts to provide testimony or reports that support your claim.
Navigating the Law
Workers’ compensation law can be complex, particularly when dealing with pre-existing conditions. An attorney who is well-versed in this area of law can guide you through the process, ensuring that you understand your rights and obligations.
Your Lakeland workers’ compensation lawyer can help you interpret the law, understand the relevant legal precedents, and build a strong case.
Perhaps the most important role of an attorney in a workers’ compensation claim is advocacy. Your attorney will represent your interests throughout the claim process, from negotiating with the insurance company to representing you in court if necessary.
They will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to and that your rights are protected.
Call Work Injury Rights for a Free Case Review
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging for employees with pre-existing conditions. However, with guidance from our Florida workers’ compensation lawyers, you can successfully navigate this process. Remember, if a recent accident has worsened an existing injury or health condition, you may be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits.