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How to Claim a Work Injury that Aggravated a Condition

 Posted on February 09, 2024 in Workers' Compensation

Decatur workers' compensation lawyerIf you suffered an injury at work that worsened an existing medical condition, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. This type of injury is known as an aggravation or exacerbation of a preexisting condition. An Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand what you need to know about making this type of claim.

Establish Your Preexisting Condition

The first step is to show documentation that you had a medical condition prior to the workplace injury. This can include medical records, testimony from your doctor, and medical bills that predate the injury. Some examples of preexisting conditions that could be aggravated by a work accident include:

  • Arthritis
  • Prior back injury
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Asthma

Prove the Work Injury Aggravated Your Condition

Next, you must prove that the work accident directly caused your preexisting condition to become worse. Your treating physician will need to clearly link the changes in your condition to the workplace incident. Make sure you give your doctor an accurate history of how the injury occurred and point out when your symptoms got markedly worse. Diagnostic test results can also demonstrate an objective worsening of your preexisting condition.

Document Your Limitations After the Injury

It is critical to record all the ways the exacerbated condition now limits your functioning. This includes both physical restrictions like reduced mobility and psychological impacts like increased depression. Detail how these new limitations affect major life activities like walking, lifting, working, sleeping, etc. Having clear evidence of your diminished capacity can build a stronger case.

Seek Appropriate Workers’ Comp Benefits

Based on the worsening of your condition, identify which types of workers’ compensation benefits you require. This may involve asking for coverage of medical expenses, prescription medications, physical therapy, surgery, disability pay, retraining for alternate work, modified duty accommodations, and more.

Overcome Potential Defense Arguments

Expect the insurance company to comb your medical history and look for other plausible explanations besides the work accident. They may claim your condition worsened due to the natural progression of your disease or health factors like obesity, diet, family history, or something else. Having solid medical evidence and expert testimony will help overcome these defense tactics.

Meeting Strict Notice and Filing Deadlines

Illinois has strict statute limitations on reporting the injury and formally requesting a hearing. You must notify your employer within 45 days of the accident and file the workers’ comp claim within three years. Missing these deadlines can destroy your entitlement to benefits, so prompt action is essential.

Contact a Decatur, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Proving that a work injury aggravated an existing condition presents unique challenges. But with the proper evidence, persistence, and a Bloomington, IL workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you can have more potential to win your case. Call Kanoski Bresney at 888-826-8682 for a free consultation.

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