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How Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Your NY Workers’ Compensation

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Pre-Existing Injuries

You don’t have to be afraid to report a pre-existing condition if you’re injured on the job in New York. If your injury exacerbates your pre-existing condition or creates a brand new one that has nothing to do with the old one, you will receive benefits.

That’s not to say a pre-existing condition won’t complicate your claim. It will. This is merely an assertion that you have some legal rights in this situation. 

When does an injury qualify for workers’ compensation?

Injuries qualify for workers’ compensation only when they arise “out of and during employment.” 

How do pre-existing conditions complicate workers’ compensation claims?

If the issue is that the job exacerbated a pre-existing condition, you can expect employers to claim one of the following.

  1. There is no way to draw a clear relationship between your worsening condition and your work, as your off-duty activities could also be responsible for worsening your condition. 
  2. That you’re exaggerating how much worse the condition is in the hopes of getting more money. 
  3. The employer may share some responsibility, but the percentage of responsibility is low, so they shouldn’t have to pay as much. 

You must be prepared for these claims. 

In addition, you’ll receive less money under workers’ compensation than you would have if you were dealing with a fresh, new condition. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board may “apportion” your benefits, decreasing them based on the percentage of responsibility attributed to the employer. 

However, it is absolutely vital that you do not conceal pre-existing conditions either from your doctor or from your employer. Doing so could open you up to accusations of insurance fraud. 

What happens when the new injury has nothing to do with the pre-existing condition?

You’ll be entitled to full, standard workers’ compensation benefits, though you should expect the employer to do their very best to link the pre-existing condition to your new injury unless it would be patently ridiculous to do so. 

They’ll do anything they can do to pay you less money. 

What happens when the pre-existing condition arose from a previous workers’ compensation claim?

Workers’ compensation will divide your claim between the two injuries when this happens. This could also mean a reduction in your current claim. 

Get Help Today

As you can see, workers’ compensation cases can grow very complicated very quickly. If your case involves any complex factors, such as a pre-existing condition, it’s important for you to work closely with a workers’ compensation law firm like ours.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

See also: 

When Do You Need a Lawyer for a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim? 

5 Reasons Workers’ Comp Claims Get Denied in New York 

Claiming Workers’ Compensation for an Occupational Disease