As a personal injury lawyer and a workers comp lawyer in Belleville, IL, one of the questions I commonly get as far as workers compensation goes is: Can i still have a workers compensation case if i previously injured a particular part of my body and already received an award and then get hurt on the job again?
The answer to that question is yes; however, there are some things that you need to be aware of related to this question. First of all, if the injury is to any part of the injured workers’ body other than your neck or lower back, then there is a credit given on any subsequent award or settlement that you receive. It won’t be a dollar for dollar credit but there is a reduction on what you would be able to recover if you have a second injury to the same part of your body.
With that said, if it is a previous neck injury or low back injury where you received what’s called a “man as a whole” or “person as a whole” award then there is no credit given or allowed if you have a subsequent injury to that same part of your body.
And neck and low back also includes your shoulder if you have a rotator cuff tear or something of that nature. In that case it’s counted as a person as a whole award and there is no reduction on that award as well.
One of the things that comes up though is that people often assume that since they had a prior injury they can’t claim it again and therefore they don’t turn it in, report it, or give notice to their employer that they’ve had a second injury.
Always make sure that you report any injury that you have at work. Don’t think automatically that it’s all part and parcel of the prior injury that you reported or were compensated for earlier. The longer you wait to turn it, as with almost any work injury, the more suspect the insurance company and employer are when it comes to compensating you. They will question even more whether the problem you’re having is related to the original injury or something else that you suffered at work.
Pre-Existing Conditions and Being Hurt At Work
I would like to add to this is that Illinois law provides that an employer is liable for an aggravation of a pre-existing condition as well. This means that if you had a prior injury that you suffered at work or if you just simply have arthritis and then you have an injury that aggravates that underlying arthritic condition or maybe it’s your pre-existing back pain that’s made worse by work injury your employer and their insurance company can still be on the hook to pay you compensation.
To clarify, the work injury or on the job injury that you suffered need not be the sole cause or the only cause or even the major cause of your current condition it need only be a causative factor in causing your symptoms, or an aggravation of your pre-existing condition.
If you have any questions on this or on anything related to workers compensation insurance, personal injury claims, workers compensation benefits, statutes of limitations or anything else, give me a ring at 618-239-6070
To sum up: We always recommend that you report each and every work injury so that you can receive the medical care and medical treatment necessary to heal a work related injury. Consult a knowledgeable lawyer for sound legal advice to help you understand all you are entitled to when you file a workers compensation claim.
We can help you file a claim if you are injured on the job to get you the care you need and the compensation to keep you afloat until you can return to work. We are known throughout Southern Illinois for our fierce representation of those hurt due to workplace injuries.
Belleville, IL Injury Lawyer, Eric Kirkpatrick, explains what happens if you re-injure yourself at work but are re-activating a previous injury whether it happened at work or whether it was a pre-existing condition. It is always important to report each and every injury that occurs at work in the proper manner regardless of how serious it seems, whether you think it might have originated in a non-work situation or even if it is a re-activation of a previous injury caused at work. If you’ve been hurt at work in the St Louis area, call Kirkpatrick Injury Law Offices at: (618) 239-6070
Kirkpatrick Law Offices
3 Executive Woods Ct,
Swansea, IL 62226
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Areas of Practice
The Kirkpatrick Law Office proudly serves clients as a personal injury lawyer in St Clair County, Illinois and a personal injury lawyer, coal mine injury attorney, industrial accident lawyer, workers compensation and construction accident lawyer in Belleville, Illinois and other areas of Southern Illinois including but not limited to Carbondale, IL, Goreville, IL, De Soto, IL, Murphrysboro, IL, Freeburg, IL, Coulterville, IL, Hecker, IL, Waterloo, IL, Sparta, IL, St. Clair County, IL, Madison County, IL, Johnson County, IL, Randolph County, IL, Clinton County, IL and other Southern Illinois locations.
We typically assist injured workers and people with neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, people requiring back surgery, coal mine injuries, union worker injuries, iron worker injuries, boilermaker, pipefitter and laborer injuries, those hurt as a result of construction accidents, road construction, semi-truck accidents, cell phone drivers, discrimination, warehouse injuries. We also help people hurt in nursing home injuries while lifting patients in nursing homes or other medical facilities.