In Georgia, workers’ compensation benefits may cover aggravation or exacerbation of pre-existing conditions. However, it’s important to navigate the process carefully when dealing with workers’ compensation and pre-existing conditions.
According to Attorney Hansford McDaniel, there are various ways to receive workers’ compensation, even with pre-existing conditions.
Disclose Pre-existing Conditions
If you have suffered a workplace accident, you might be tempted to avoid disclosing pre-existing health conditions. However, when reporting a workplace injury, you should be honest and disclose any pre-existing conditions that may have been aggravated or worsened by the work-related incident. Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions can harm your credibility and potentially jeopardize your claim.
Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions & Medical Evidence
If a work-related incident causes an aggravation or worsening of your pre-existing condition, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. The most important aspect is establishing a clear link between the work-related incident and its impact on your condition. Medical documentation, such as doctor’s reports and diagnostic tests, can help establish this connection.
It’s crucial to gather all comprehensive medical evidence to support your claim. Apart from the documents mentioned earlier, you should also include documents related to your treatment plans and gather expert opinions linking the work-related incident to the aggravation of your pre-existing condition.
Consult with medical professionals who can provide accurate assessments and document the impact of the work-related incident on your pre-existing condition. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney as well to receive legal guidance and strengthen your claim. Under Georgia Code § 34-9-1, all workers with pre-existing conditions are covered by workers’ compensation benefits if a work-related incident or accident contributed to the aggravation of a pre-existing condition.
Independent Medical Examinations
In some cases, the workers’ compensation insurance company may request an independent medical examination (IME) to evaluate your condition. It’s essential to attend these examinations as required by law.
However, consulting a workers’ compensation attorney before attending the IME is advisable to ensure your rights are protected and understand how the examination may impact your claim.
If the workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim based on your pre-existing condition, you have the right to appeal the decision. Consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the appeals process and present the necessary evidence to support and strengthen your claim. Look for an attorney with a proven track record of success dealing with workers’ compensation denials.
Dealing with workers’ compensation and pre-existing conditions can be complex, especially since you have to deal with the worsening symptoms and being unable to work. However, consulting a workers’ compensation attorney is highly recommended as they can help you understand your rights, gather the necessary evidence, navigate the legal process, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and advocate for your best interests while you recover.
You should not fear taking legal action since your rights are protected in these circumstances under Georgia Code § 34-9-1. Pursue justice and fair compensation by speaking with a qualified attorney.