When it comes to receiving workers’ compensation, your employer is only responsible for compensation related to injuries sustained on the job. What happens if you have a previous injury and it gets aggravated during the course of your employment? This is a tricky situation that can be difficult to prove. As a result, the New Jersey work injury lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. will need to take a close look at your circumstances to help you determine how best to go about obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to. In most cases, your employer will only be responsible for losses related to the extent to which your previous condition became worse as a result of aggravation while you were on the job.
When the Injury Already Qualified for Workers’ Comp
Before you do anything, you should let your New Jersey work injury lawyers know if your injury is an aggravation of a previous injury you received workers’ compensation for. It’s possible you received a completely different injury to the same body part, which will make a world of difference for the workers’ compensation claims process ahead.
If your injury truly is an aggravation of a previous workplace injury, your current benefits will probably be slightly reduced. Your employer will have to compensate you for new medical bills related to the new injury, but your permanent disability benefits could change. If there is an increase in permanent disability to some part of your body, you will receive the difference between what you were previously given and the compensation the doctor determines you are now eligible for. If you do not have a permanent issue from your new injury, there will probably not be any change to your permanent partial disability compensation. This is a tricky calculus, but your New Jersey work injury lawyers can provide clarity after learning about your unique situation.
When the Injury Was Not Previously Compensated
In situations in which you have a previous injury that did not previously qualify for workers’ compensation, your doctor will have to determine the extent to which your injury was worsened. That worsening amount is generally what you will be compensated for. For example, if you were in a car accident and hurt your back, and a year later your back injury begins to ache because of the amount of lifting you do at work, your compensation will cover any new medical bills, and not those related to the initial car accident and treatment.
A Couple Points to Keep in Mind
There are a couple things you should keep in mind when a previous injury has been aggravated at work, regardless of whether it previously did or did not qualify for workers’ compensation.
- You’ll need to find a doctor who has experience treating patients with work-related injuries. He or she knows the system and what will help you receive what you are entitled to.
- Contact New Jersey work injury lawyers as soon as possible to find out just what to do. There may be some legal loopholes you could miss if you don’t have an experienced professional by your side.
Please reach out to our New Jersey work injury lawyers at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. today!