Posted on: 18 October 2018
When you're hurt on the job, your attorney and a team of medical professionals and investigators will build a case that reveals the extent of your injury and how it may be affecting your life. Doing so can be straightforward if you were perfectly healthy before the workplace injury, but challenges can arise if you've been living with an injury suffered some months or years ago. A past injury won't prevent you from making a successful workers' compensation claim, but it will be an obstacle that you and your team will need to properly navigate. Here are some tips for dealing with this delicate situation.
Don't Try to Deny It
Your first instinct might be to keep quiet about your past injury out of fears that it will prevent your workers' comp claim from being successful. This idea is problematic, however, as your employer's attorneys will dig into your health history and may uncover the past injury. If they identify that you aren't being forthcoming about it, your case will be more difficult to win. Remember, there are lots of ways that the employer's attorneys can learn of your injury — perhaps even by talking to colleagues, who may note that you frequently complained of a sore back.
Meticulously Note the Symptom Changes
If you already had a sore back and you sustained a back injury at work, you'll need to be clear with your attorney about the changes in your symptoms. Medical records may also be an asset. For example, your doctor could provide scan results from the past and from the present, which could indicate that you had a partially herniated disc that you suffered a year ago, but that the disc is severely herniated as a result of the accident. Detailing how the first injury affected your life versus how the workplace injury has changed things will be important. For example, you might note how you were stiff and sore in the past, but now you're in extreme agony.
A workers' compensation case can be lengthy, given that employers frequently fight back against the injury claims that their employees make. When a past injury is a factor, the case will often take even longer to resolve. This doesn't mean that you should give up, nor should you allow yourself to grow impatient and perhaps accept a less-than-fair settlement offer. A company that offers workers' compensation attorney services will caution you to remain patient and optimistic as the case proceeds.Share