Worker’s Comp. and Pre-Existing Conditions: The Impact on Your Claim

Massachusetts offers worker’s compensation to pay employees who were injured on the job. This covers medical benefits and even lost wages due to recovering from injuries. If you have a pre-existing condition, it may impact your claim on worker’s compensation. Contact a worker’s compensation attorney to determine how to best proceed with your claim.

Back and neck injury at work

Does Worker’s Comp. Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Massachusetts provides worker’s compensation to employees who were injured on the job, regardless of whether or not the employee had a pre-existing injury. However, the injury must be a major injury sustained in the workplace that required medical treatment or led to lost wages due to taking time off work. If an employee has a pre-existing condition, they may be eligible to file for worker’s compensation for that specific condition if the condition was aggravated by an incident or repetitive motion at work. For example, if you are injured working in construction, consistent heavy lifting may lead to a serious injury over the course of the day. If you already have a pre-existing back injury, it may be aggravated by this motion.

You cannot be denied compensation just based on having a pre-existing injury. When you file, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney to understand your legal rights and avoid the risk of getting denied.

How Does a Pre-Existing Condition Impact a Worker’s Compensation Claim?

The presence of a pre-existing condition can significantly impact the outcome of a worker’s compensation claim. Insurance companies may attempt to argue that the injuries sustained were solely a result of the pre-existing condition rather than the workplace incident. This tactic could potentially lead to denial or reduction of benefits if not properly addressed.

In such cases, having strong legal representation becomes crucial. A knowledgeable worker’s compensation attorney can gather evidence, such as medical records and expert testimony, to demonstrate the exacerbation of the pre-existing condition due to work-related activities. Additionally, they can advocate on behalf of the injured employee to ensure fair treatment and maximum compensation.

How to Successfully File a Claim with a Pre-Existing Condition

There are a few steps you can take as reassurance that you claim will have the best chance of getting approved. Successfully filing a worker’s compensation claim requires consulting with a worker’s compensation attorney, who can provide invaluable guidance through the legal process based on their legal knowledge and years of experience handling claims.

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediately seek medical attention following your injury at work. Documentation of this medical attention is the first evidence that can support your claim.
  • Notify Your Employer: Inform your employer as soon as possible about the injury that was sustained while you were working. Regardless of whether or not your pre-existing condition impacted the injury, it is important to follow safety and reporting procedures outlined by Massachusetts and your company.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect all communications regarding the accident at work and medical attention that followed. This can also help your attorney understand what documentation you could provide that could support your claim.
  • Remain Transparent: Transparency is best when it comes to filing a successful claim. Be honest when filing your claim and transparent about your pre-existing condition if it impacts your claim or injuries.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Listen to any suggestions or recommendations for treatment from healthcare professionals. Ensure that you attend all appointments recommended by a healthcare professional to help treat your injuries. Any appointments or treatments can serve as evidence in your claim.
  • Maintain Records: Aside from gathering initial evidence, maintain any further records of communication with your employer and company, expenses related to your incident (such as medical bills), and any other supporting paperwork, such as records of missed work.

While pre-existing conditions could complicate your worker’s compensation claim, it does not mean that you cannot receive benefits. By following proper steps following your incident, you will have the best chance at receiving compensation. Employees in Massachusetts are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if injured at work, regardless of whether or not they had a pre-existing condition. A worker’s compensation attorney will provide you with the proper guidance to understand the claims process. They can help you move forward with filing your claim and advocate on your behalf if needed during the claims process. If your claim is denied, they can also help you appeal the decision.



The information contained in this blog is for general information purposes only. Bonville & Howard assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the blog.

In no event shall Bonville & Howard be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action of contract, negligence, or other tort, arising out of or in connection with the use of this blog or the contents of this blog. Bonville & Howard reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents of this blog at any time without prior notice.