As a general rule, if an injured employee has a pre-existing injury or illness, the worker can still seek workers’ comp benefits.
In some cases an injured employee may have a pre-existing injury or sickness from something other than work; in this case, the pre-existing injury does not have to be work-related.
Sometimes, a pre-existing injury can affect the injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim, though this is dependent on where in or on the pre-existing injury is and where its relation is to the work-related injury.
New Injury Is Different From The Pre-Existing Injury
In the event that an injured worker’s new work-related injury is in or on a different part of the body compared to the pre-existing injury or ailment, then there is almost a guarantee that the pre-existing injury will not affect the workers’ compensation claim.
The injuries are entirely separate and affect the injured worker’s body in completely 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
If an injured employee’s boss provides employees with workers’ comp insurance coverage, and the injured employee has suffered a work-related injury or sickness, then that injury is compensable under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.
This means that if an employee has an aggravation of a pre-existing injury or sickness, and the injured worker can prove that there has been some amount of acceleration, worsening or augmentation of an underlying condition from the new work-related injury or illness.
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.
An injured employee must demonstrate evidence that proves it was not the pre-existing injury itself that caused the aggravation, but rather an aspect of their employment had made the pre-existing condition worse.