When Your Job Makes You Worse
Workers start new jobs every day with pre-existing conditions like past injuries or health challenges like heart disease, or diabetes.
However, California Workers’ compensation law does not permit an employer to take advantage of these pre-existing conditions just because you walked in the door with them. In fact, the law explicitly states that an employer IS responsible for the disability caused by employment – and that includes making a pre-existing injury or condition worse.
For example, take a worker that begins a job with long-standing and well-controlled diabetes. Later, the worker suffers a serious workplace injury to her knee, and the claims administrator delays / denies necessary medical treatment. Meanwhile, the injured worker gains significant weight due to inactivity, and diabetes goes out of control. Since the work injury is the reason diabetes needs to be re-stabilized, the claims administrator can be held responsible for the knee injury AND treatment for diabetes – at least until it returns to baseline if it does. If the diabetes is permanently worsened by the work injury, the employer may be held responsible for the treatment of diabetes, and well as the degree of permanent worsening.
If your employer or claims administrator is trying to blame your pre-existing injury to avoid responsibility for the effects of the injury, we are here to help you.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney not only understands the obligations of the claims administrator but also can make sure the workers’ comp claim is pursued aggressively.
Tom Martin is an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney that has been getting results for his clients for 30 years.
Give him a call today at 714-547-5025. The consultation is always free.