Georgia workers’ comp law considers your old work injuries and their propensity to “flare up” or “aggravate” months, or even years, after an injury when an employee continues working. Oftentimes when I’m consulting with injured workers in Atlanta, they will be concerned that the pain they’re feeling while working will not be a compensable workers’ compensation injury, because they’ve had previous pain of a similar nature in years past.
Can you claim workers’ comp for a pre-existing injury?
The good news is that your aggravation of a previous injury may very well be compensable. Georgia workers’ compensation law recognizes that workers often reinjure themselves when they continue to work, even after a successful surgery and rehabilitation.
What is a pre-existing condition?
In Georgia, pre-existing conditions are defined as “a medical problem that existed prior to the work-related injury that is the reason for filing a claim.” Common pre-existing conditions may include injuries with backs, knees, carpal tunnel syndrome, or shoulders.
What to do if you re-injure an old injury at work
If you have a pre-existing injury that has flared up at work, you will need to report it to your employer and follow these tips:
- Do not wait for the pain to go away to decide about filing a claim
- Do not hide the pre-existing injury
- Do not make excuses for the pain caused by the workplace injury
- Write a detailed explanation of your injury that mentions what happened and the pain you have suffered
Re-injuring a pre-existing condition at work
A pre-existing condition can make a workers’ comp claim more complex. Sometimes it may be cited as a reason to deny a claim, even when the claim should be covered. This is why it’s important to have a workers’ comp attorney working to protect your rights. If you have questions about whether or not the pain you’re feeling while working qualifies as a workers’ compensation injury under Georgia law, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers.