A Pre-Existing Injury For Workers Compensation In Oklahoma is still compensable. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work in Oklahoma, there are a lot of questions and concerns to sort through. One of those questions might be is pre-existing condition a basis for denying my recent at work injury. No one wants to suffer from a work injury or to miss out on the pay we rely on to feed our families. Unfortunately some employers will try to deny your claim and say that they can do this because you have a pre-0existing injury.
What Is Workers’ Compensation In Oklahoma?
Workers’ compensation allows workers who have suffered an injury or illness related to their job to receive certain benefits. The key to this is that the injury must have occurred at work and the injury must have occurred while doing work within the scope of your employment. To recover for your at work injury its not necessary that you prove the employer was negligent. This is because negligence has nothing to do with recovering for your at work injury. This is good for you as a worker because the why and what doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that the injury occurred within the scope of your employment.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover In Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, if you are injured or become sick because of your job, workers’ compensation court will provide for:
- Medical care for injuries or illnesses related to your job
- Payments for wages lost due to a work-related injury or illness
- Compensation for work-related permanent disabilities (although there are some limitations)
- Training and job placement if you cannot go back to your old occupation
- Death benefits for the families of workers who died because of a job-related injury
These workers’ compensation benefits apply to every employee injured at work, although there are some specific exemptions.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover A Pre-Existing Injury?
If you are injured at work, your employer might point out that you had a pre-existing condition at the time of your job-related injury. Just because you have a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you will be prevented from getting workers’ compensation after your on-the-job injury.
There may be an attempt to deny your workers’ compensation claim because of a pre-existing injury. Pre-existing conditions can make the process of receiving workers’ compensation more complicated. If you have a pre-existing injury, it can be difficult to distinguish if the job-related injury is the source of your inability to work or your inability to work is from the pre-existing condition.
If the pre-existing injury and the on-the-job injury are similar, this can make the case even more complex for establishing workers’ compensation benefits. For example, say you have a history of lower back pain, and then you injure your back at your job. Pre-existing conditions and on-the-job injuries must go through a differentiation process because workers’ compensation will only apply if a work-related injury aggravates your existing injury.
What Is Aggravation Of A Pre-Existing Condition?
When a pre-existing injury is made worse because of work-related activities, it is aggravated. You are only entitled to get workers’ compensation benefits when a job-related injury or accident leaves your pre-existing injury in a worse state than it was before the work accident.
If you are involved in an accident at work, you must prove that your injury aggravated your pre-existing condition. When there is a pre-existing condition as part of a workers’ compensation case, you can only receive your benefits if what happened on the job is the main reason for your workers’ compensation claim.
Keep in mind that if you disobey a doctor’s orders not to participate in activities that will aggravate your pre-existing injury, you cannot claim aggravation of a pre-existing condition for workers’ compensation. For example, if you have a pre-existing knee injury and a doctor has told you not to lift over 50 lbs. at work, you cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits if you injure your knee lifting a 75 lb. box. However, if a doctor has never told you to stop lifting heavy boxes, then you might have a workers’ compensation claim for an aggravated injury.
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It is essential to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to help you better understand what benefits you are entitled to and what to expect. This is even more essential if your workers’ compensation claim involves a pre-existing injury. Determining if your injury is worsened by the work injury isn’t something the insurance company wants to help you with For a free consultation contact the Tulsa work injury attorneys at Kania Law Office 918.743.2233 or contact us on-line