As a general rule, if an injured employee has a pre-existing injury or illness, the worker can still seek workers’ comp benefits.
The pre-existing injury or sickness doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related; in fact, the injured worker could have gotten the injury or sickness in another way.
Though in certain situations the pre-existing injury could cause some impact on the injured employee’s workers’ comp claim depending on where the pre-existing injury or illness is located and its relation to the new work-related injury.
New Injury Is Different From The Pre-Existing Injury
Sometimes a new work-related injury or illness happens to a part of the body that is completely unrelated to the pre-existing injury or sickness, in this case, the pre-existing injury shouldn’t have any effect of the workers’ comp claim.
These injuries can clearly be seen as separate and affects the worker in different ways.
As long as there are no underlying links between the pre-existing injury or sickness and the ne work-related injury or sickness, an injured employee should have no problems with validating that the pre-existing injury did not have anything to do with causing a new work-related injury or sickness.
New Injury Aggravates The Pre-Existing Injury
In the case that an injured worker’s manager provides their workers with workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and the injured worker has a work-related injury or ailment, then their injury is recoverable under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.
This includes coverage for injuries that have shown a degree of aggravation of a pre-existing injury or ailment, so such that the injured worker can validate that the pre-existing injury has been made worse, accelerating or enhanced by that of a work-related injury or ailment.
In making a workers’ comp claim grounded on the aggravation of a pre-existing injury or ailment can be very difficult, due to the fact that the boss’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will assume that the aggravation of the pre-existing injury or ailment is that of the pre-existing injury itself and not anything related to the injured worker on the clock.
Injured employees have to be able to provide the evidence that the pre-existing injury itself did not prompt the aggravation, but instead that something work-related made the pre-existing injury worse.