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How pre-existing conditions can affect workers’ comp claims

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Pre-existing conditions can significantly influence the outcome of New Jersey workers’ compensation claims. One thing employees should do is disclose any pre-existing conditions.

Otherwise, failing to provide accurate information can lead to complications. Full disclosure allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the case. It ensures the consideration of all relevant factors.

Aggravation of pre-existing conditions

In some instances, workplace injuries can exacerbate pre-existing conditions. For example, a workplace accident might aggravate someone’s chronic lower back pain. Chronic pain is a common issue. It affects the everyday activities of as many as 6.9% of adults in the United States.

In such cases, determining the extent to which the workplace injury contributed to the worsening of the pre-existing condition becomes an important aspect of the workers’ compensation claim.

Apportionment of benefits

New Jersey law recognizes the concept of apportionment. Apportionment involves dividing responsibility for the compensation between the workplace injury and the pre-existing condition. The process aims to fairly allocate benefits based on how much each factor contributed to the overall impairment.

Challenges in establishing causation

Establishing a direct link between a workplace injury and a pre-existing condition can be tricky. Insurance providers and employers may study claims to see whether the pre-existing condition or the workplace incident is the primary cause of the injury. A thorough medical examination and expert opinions can establish causation. They can support the employee’s claim for compensation.

Employees in New Jersey deserve fair consideration and compensation for workplace injuries, even when pre-existing conditions are a factor.