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Alabama Workers Compensation Questions Preexisting Condition

Alabama Workers Compensation Questions Preexisting Condition

Alabama Workers Compensation Questions: Am I entitled to workers compensation benefits if my job injury aggravated an old injury? In Alabama, if a worker has a pre-existing condition which has not stopped them from being able to adequately perform their job duties, the law views the condition as being irrelevant. If you can do your job duties and a job accident worsens an underlying condition, then workers' compensation has to pick up liability for the worsened condition. This is because under Alabama's Workers' Compensation Statute, a job injury does not have to be the sole, or even the main, cause of an injured workers' disability; the job injury just has to be a contributing factor in the disability. If a work injury combines with or aggravates a pre-existing condition (which has not prevented the worker from performing their job duties in a normal manner) to cause a disability or death, then the workers' compensation insurance carrier is liable for said disability/death.

There are several reasons why this is the law in Alabama. The main two reasons for this-in my opinion- are as follow: First, refusing to cover the worsening of a preexisting condition would in effect mean that workers compensation is only available to those in perfect health. For construction workers who have spent years performing their heavy work, saying that any underlying condition would not be covered if a work injury worsens the condition would leave a great many of them without access to the workers comp system.

Second, despite what insurance carriers would have one believe, not all worsening of preexisting conditions are covered under workers compensation-most are not. Workmans Compensation laws in Alabama only cover work injuries which permanently worsen a pre-existing condition. If a work injury only temporarily worsen a preexisting condition, but the worsened condition returns to baseline (what it was like prior to the job accident), then workers compensation is not responsible for treatment of the condition once it returns to normal. Only those pre-existing conditions which are permanently worsened are treated and covered by workmans compensation long term. Additionally, any preexisting condition has to be one that did not prohibit the injured worker from being able to perform their job duties as a normal worker. If someone has a preexisting problem which prevents them from doing their job duties in an acceptable manner or which requires accommodation for their problem on the part of their employer, then a work injury which worsens their condition would not be covered by workmans compensation.

If the preexisting condition is now permanently worse because of a work injury, then a new injury has been suffered, and consequentially it should be covered under workers compensation.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury at work and you have questions about your right to Alabama Workers' Compensation benefits, don't hesitate to contact and speak to one of the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny today.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can't

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Alabama Workers Compensation Questions Preexisting Condition

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