Do not just accept an insurance carrier’s denial of your claim because they say it is a “pre-existing condition.” Even if you have a pre-existing injury or condition related to the same body part injured in a work accident, you may still be entitled to medical benefits related to the work accident. For instance, say (hypothetically) you had a sore knee over the course of a few weeks/months and decide to see a physician. Your physician says you have degenerative arthritis and advises you to do home stretching exercises. A few days later, you slip on an oil slick at work and hear (and feel) a “pop” in your knee. You are seen by a physician shortly after and are advised that you have suffered an exacerbation of your condition and are now unable to work or can only work in a restricted capacity. Assuming the slip/accident at work is arising out of your employment (compensable as a work accident), your exacerbated knee injury should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier.
Remember, the injured worker has the burden of proof to prove they sustained a compensable injury by a preponderance of the evidence. The injured worker must show four things: 1) an identifiable incident; 2) that occurred at some reasonably definite time; 3) an obvious sudden change or mechanical or structural change in the body; and 4) a causal connection between the incident and the bodily change.” Assuming you show these elements, you should prevail if you challenge the comp carrier’s denial of your claim.
As always, make sure you contact a competent, knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your claim. You have rights under the law, don’t be fooled by the workers’ comp carrier.