What Kinds of Injuries Leave Me Eligible for Compensation?
Generally, any injuries a person sustains while in the workplace or in connection with a work duty or condition qualifies an employee for workers’ compensation. Below is a list of the most common work injuries that occur in the workplace:
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Broken bones
Injuries that occur in environments directly related to the employee’s workplace may also be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Employees who sustain injuries in the following places may be able to obtain monetary relief through workers’ compensation benefits:
- In a company vehicle
- The workplace
- Any place associated with the employee’s job (Ex: A solar panel installer at a homeowner’s residence)
- Any place where work materials are to be picked up or delivered by the worker
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation If I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
In short, yes; you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation even if you have a pre-existing condition. The key is in proving that your pre-existing condition was significantly aggravated by another work-related injury. If you suffered a re-aggravated injury, you must show that your working conditions, work-related duties, or workplace accident was the primary cause of your re-aggravated injury.
For example, if you have a pre-existing condition, such as arthritis, and you suffer a repetitive motion injury due to prolonged periods of conducting the same, repetitive actions, which re-aggravates your pre-existing arthritis, you will need to show that your repetitive motion injury was substantially caused by your work-related duties. In some cases, this can be incredibly difficult to do.
Unfortunately, having a pre-existing injury will almost certainly complicate your workers’ compensation claim. Employers and their insurance providers will often use the existence of a pre-exiting condition to deny workers’ compensation claims, asserting that the injury for which the claim was opened was not work-related but, rather, caused by the pre-existing condition. This is especially true if your pre-existing condition was the result of a non-work-related injury or occurred at a past place of employment.
However, simply because you have a pre-existing condition, this does not mean you are ineligible to receive workers’ compensation in Florida if you suffer an on-the-job injury. It is crucial that you work with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney as you will most likely face a number of challenges in recovering workers’ comp benefits if you have a pre-existing condition.