South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims and Pre-Existing Conditions

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Some people think that having a pre-existing condition will keep them from pursuing a workerscompensation claim. The workerscompensation laws in South Carolina are designed to put you back in the position you were in prior to the workerscompensation accident. If an accident made an existing health condition or injury worse, forcing you to miss time from work, and/or cause you to incur new medical treatment and expenses, then you have the right to benefits to recover from your injuries.

This is not necessarily an uncommon scenario. For example, as people age, they suffer from a variety of health issues. If they are in an auto accident and their health worsens, they arent left without any legal protection. The victim would be entitled to reimbursement for their medical expenses and other related expenses incurred due to the negligence of the other party. This is the same theory applied to workerscompensation claims in South Carolina. A worker should not be punished because they had an existing injury.

What if the Pre-Existing Injury is Degenerative?

If you have something like arthritis and the work injury makes it worse, then the employer still has to cover it. Your medical provider should include his or her opinion that the injury aggravated existing arthritis.

What About Injuries that resulted in a Permanent Physical Impairment Rating?

Workers who previously received a permanent physical impairment rating may also be eligible for workerscompensation coverage, provided the new injury meets the requirements set forth by South Carolina laws.

Proving the Workers’ Compensation-Related Injury Aggravated a Pre-Existing Condition

You must prove the injury aggravated a pre-existing condition. This must be done by a preponderance of the evidence. This typically means that the aggravation was more likely than not, or at least 51 percent, caused by the new injury. You can use a variety of methods to prove your case, including witnesses, medical opinions, and experts.

What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied

If your workerscompensation claim is denied due to the pre-existing condition, its important to speak to your treatment providers. Its necessary to get your treating physicians opinion that the work accident more than likely caused your pre-existing injury to become worse. Your physician should note that it is his or her opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

Also, you need to speak with a skilled Rock Hill workerscompensation attorney. Working with an experienced South Carolina workers compensation attorney who has encountered denials for pre-existing conditions is the best course of action. At the Elrod Pope Law Firm., we have almost 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Rock Hill and neighboring areas of South Carolina.

Retaining a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have a pre-existing condition and were involved in a work-related accident, its important to contact our office today. Call us at 803-599-3080 to schedule an initial consultation.

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