What happens when workers in California suffer injuries that aggravate pre-existing conditions? Are they eligible for workers’ compensation benefits? Although the state-regulated insurance program was established to provide financial relief to cover medical expenses and lost wages, some exceptions exist regarding how and when the injuries were suffered. The first requirement is for the victim to be a legally employed worker.
Furthermore, the injury must have been suffered during on-duty activities and be medically confirmed; it must also prevent the employee from working regardless of whether it is an injury that aggravates a pre-existing condition or a new injury. Exclusions include self-inflicted injuries or those suffered while alcohol or drugs impaired the worker. Injuries sustained during altercations started by the injured worker or while participating in criminal activities will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
The workers’ compensation law of California states that injuries that aggravate pre-existing conditions that resulted from injuries that fit the standards for coverage will also receive coverage. However, this will only apply if the pre-existing injury is exacerbated in a manner that will require modified or additional medical treatment. An example is a work-related fall that causes a pre-existing back injury to become more debilitating.
This could be a complicated question to answer, and workers might find that their workers’ compensation benefits for aggravating injuries are denied. This is where the skills of a workers’ compensation attorney can be invaluable. A lawyer who is experienced in fighting for the rights of California workers can navigate the legal and administrative proceedings of an appeal in pursuit of the benefits to which the worker is entitled.