Can I file a new claim if I already have a medical condition and a work accident has made the condition worse? Hello, my name is Ty Wilson, I'm a Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorney practicing law in the State of Georgia. And you've heard our topic for today, and the short answer is “it depends”.
Under workers' compensation, certainly, if you have a new injury where you're injured on the job and you're injured in what is called the course and scope of your employment, you have a worker's compensation claim. However, if you have a pre existing condition or an injury that happened prior to your work injury, there is a possibility that you may have a worker's compensation claim if it was aggravated by a work injury.
So how do you determine that? Well, the short answer is you don't. It is the doctor, and more likely, the authorized treating physician who will make that determination. And so they need to see you. They need to hear how you've been hurt. And more importantly, you need to describe your job details, what you were doing and what kind of started the event of aggravating your injury.
Sometimes this is complicated. Sometimes it's not a one time event. Sometimes, it's over an extended period of time, the condition got worse. It's important that you explain with your doctor what's going on, what happened and what pain your feeling in all parts of your body as a result of this injury. And they will then make a determination as to if this has been an aggravation of a pre existing condition which will be covered through workers' compensation.
However, if they do not believe that this is an aggravation, then it will not be covered through Georgia Workers' Compensation. So it's really critical with the doctor that you get to. As we have seen, some doctors who have told us directly that they do not believe that aggravation injuries should be paid for from workers comp. Well, that's not their determination to make.