Pre-Existing Conditions and Maryland Workers’ Compensation Claims
When on-the-job injuries or illnesses happen, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits in Maryland. However, insurers often use pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny claims. Our Maryland workers’ compensation attorney explains how to handle three common situations involving pre-existing conditions and offers tips to protect your rights to benefits.
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim For Pre-Existing Conditions
Workers’ compensation protects you when injuries or illnesses prevent you from working. Benefits available through the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission cover medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost earnings in the event of long-term disabilities. However, in seeking these benefits, be aware that insurers often look for ways to dispute and deny claims.
Pre-existing conditions are among the most common causes of denied workers’ compensation benefits. This often has nothing to do with whether they are covered. Under the Maryland Code, you may be eligible for worker’s comp if tasks performed on the job aggravate prior injuries or chronic health conditions. However, errors in the type of claim filed are a frequent factor in denials. There are three common types of situations that are likely to arise:
- Pre-existing health conditions aggravated on the job: Heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, respiratory diseases, and degenerative disc disease or other chronic back problems are all examples of pre-existing health conditions that can be aggravated on the job. Regardless of whether you or your employer knew about these conditions in advance, you may be entitled to benefits through a new workers’ compensation claim.
- Pre-existing injuries aggravated on the job: Car crashes, slips and falls, sports-related mishaps, and other types of accidents can leave you suffering injuries that may be aggravated by tasks you perform on the job. As the pre-existing condition is unrelated to work, you would need to file a new claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition that happened on the job: If an on-the-job accident aggravates a prior work-related injury or illness for which you previously received workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland, you may need to file an application to reopen your case rather than file a new claim in some circumstances.
Protecting Your Rights To Workers’ Compensation For Pre-Existing Conditions
Workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland can help to cover pre-existing conditions that are aggravated on the job. However, these cases can be complex and claim delays or denials are common. To protect your rights, follow these tips:
- Notify your employer immediately when a work-related injury or illness occurs.
- Get medical care as soon as possible for any injuries or illnesses.
- Keep copies of medical records and follow your doctor’s advice regarding treatment and activity restrictions.
- Contact a Workers’ Compensation attorney to file a claim.
- Keep a journal detailing how your condition impacts your abilities on the job.
Contact Our Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Pre-existing conditions are covered by worker’s compensation in Maryland, but getting the benefits you are entitled to can prove challenging. To protect your rights in filing a claim, request a consultation at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP. Contact our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys today.