Many of us have been injured in some way at one time or another, or we may have conditions that cause us pain over the long term. Thankfully, these conditions will not get in the way of an Illinois resident seeking workers’ compensation benefits. If your pre-existing condition has been aggravated because of an on-the-job accident, you need to reach out to a Wheaton or Schaumburg workers’ compensation attorney. At Therman Law Offices, we understand how stressful work injuries can be, which is why we will make every effort to protect your rights throughout the legal process. With decades of combined experience, we understand how to navigate workers’ compensation claims and can put our knowledge to use in your case.Understanding the Impact of a Pre-Existing Condition
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides employees with benefits for on-the-job injuries. Put another way, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that pays monetary benefits, such as medical expenses and lost wages, to workers who become injured, ill, or disabled on the job. The employer pays the insurance premiums for workers’ compensation wholly, and these benefits are free to employees. Workers’ compensation is the ‘sole’ or ‘exclusive’ remedy for workplace injuries, which means that an employee who is injured at work cannot file a lawsuit against their employer. Instead, the employee’s only option is filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
In any claim for workers’ compensation, the initial question is whether the accident or illness arose out of and in the course of employment. As long as your job was a factor in causing your current condition, you should be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits, even if that condition is an aggravation or worsening of a pre-existing condition. The idea behind holding an employer accountable for injured employees is that an employer takes an employee as it finds them. As a result, an employee who has a pre-existing condition is not barred from compensation if their employment caused an aggravation of that condition.
While you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for the worsening of a pre-existing condition, these types of claims are often denied. For injuries suffered through the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, courts generally require that you show that the aggravation itself was caused by a work-related activity. This activity must be identifiable and traceable to a specific time and incident. While establishing this can be difficult, you can rest assured that we will make every effort to investigate your case and prove that your pre-existing condition was actually aggravated or exacerbated by workplace activities. For example, consider a person who has pre-existing arthritis in their knee that does not hurt when that person starts their employment. However, some time later, the person falls at work, and their knee starts hurting. In Illinois, this is a compensable case.
As with any other injury, pre-existing conditions can range in severity. This means that when those conditions are aggravated, the resulting conditions can vary in severity as well. Depending on the extent of the condition, the injured worker may be entitled to different types of benefits, such as temporary disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits.Contact a Dedicated Work Injury Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
While a prior condition may complicate a claim, it should not bar recovery of your Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. If you have aggravated a pre-existing injury or condition, you may be concerned about whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation, and consulting an injury lawyer may put your mind at ease. At Therman Law Offices, we can examine the facts of your case and work diligently to pursue the benefits that you deserve. We also assist injured workers in cities such as Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, and Lemont. To speak to one of our attorneys at no cost, do not hesitate to call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.