When California workers are involved in workplace accidents that caused significant aggravation to pre-existing injuries, they might be eligible for compensation. However, not all injuries qualify as pre-existing. Only injuries or illnesses that are linked to events or exposure that are not work-related will be regarded as pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, other requirements must also be met before a workers’ compensation benefits claim will be valid.
Injuries that will be considered include those for which no medical care was required until a work-related event aggravated it. Also, if the existing medical treatment of an old injury must be changed as the result of work-related exposure or injury, it might be regarded as a pre-existing condition. Furthermore, if such an event causes lost workdays, a transfer or restricted work, which was not required before, it might indicate a pre-existing injury or illness.
Any worker who loses consciousness as the result of an old injury that was aggravated may receive compensation. A work-related incident that aggravates an existing injury so much so that it causes the worker’s death may make the surviving family members eligible for compensation. Death benefits typically include compensation to cover the costs of a funeral and burial along with a financial package to make up for lost wages.
Workers’ compensation benefits claims will only be valid if the medical expenses, lost workdays, loss of consciousness or death would likely not have resulted had a pre-existing condition not been aggravated by occupational exposure or a work-related injury. This is a complicated part of California workers’ compensation law. For that reason, many workers in this situation seek the support, guidance and advocacy of an attorney who is experienced in this field of the law.