How Workers’ Compensation Handles Existing Injuries

If you are injured while doing your job, you do not have anything to worry about. In the US, there is a nation-wide system that protects workers called “workers’ compensation.” Essentially, if you are injured as a result of doing your job, you should have all resulting expenses completely compensated. Of course, in practice, workers’ comp is a little more complicated than that. For instance, what happens if your injury is really a reaggravation of an existing injury? It is important to know how workers’ comp handles this unique situation.

Handling Existing Injuries

If you reinjure an existing injury, then it makes very little difference in how workers’ comp handles it. Whether you simply aggravated a previous injury, reinjure it completely, or an existing condition causes you to injure yourself, workers’ comp will cover it. None of these situations should ever deny you the compensation you are owed.

There is one thing you need to be aware of, however. In order to receive workers’ comp, it must be shown that the injury happened as a result of work-related activity. For new injuries, this is very straightforward, but things are more complicated for existing injuries. You need to prove that it is a work-related activity specifically that caused the existing injury to become worse. If you have any trouble showing this, you should speak with a workers’ comp lawyer, like a workers’ comp lawyer in Queens, NY.

Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

The process of filing a workers’ comp claim is actually quite simple. This is all you have to do:

  1. Report your injury to your employer.
  2. Follow any instructions your employer gives you.

It really is as easy as that. For the most part, the responsibility of filing a workers’ comp claim falls to your employer. It is every employer’s legal obligation to file workers’ comp for any employees who report an injury. You will likely have to sign some paperwork or speak with a workers’ comp representative, but there is very little you have to do for yourself.

Your top priority should always be to get the medical treatment you need to get better. You should report the injury as soon as possible, but you can wait until your condition is stable. There is a time limit to file a claim, but the system does make time for you to recover before you have to turn your attention to legal matters. If you are worried that your workers’ comp rights will be violated, always speak with an attorney immediately.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers’ compensation for existing injuries.