When you’ve had a workplace injury, one of your primary goals will be to get healthy enough to return to work. Of course, once you’ve suffered an injury, there’s always the risk that you’ll reinjure yourself. What happens then? Can you collect workers’ compensation benefits if you aggravate an old injury or suffer an injury similar to one you’ve had in the past?
The good news is that you can always file a workers’ compensation claim for the same type of injury, to the same part of the body, an injury that you suffered at any time in the past, whether it was five months ago or five years ago. Whether or not the old injury will have any impact or effect on your current claim will depend on various factors. For example, if you hurt your back in the past, but you received treatment, but fully recovered and worked without incident for a period of time, the mere fact that you had a similar injury in the past will probably not have any impact on your current claim. For all intents and purposes, it is considered to be a new and totally separate injury.
On the other hand, if you had returned to work, but were still receiving treatment for a prior injury, a workers’ compensation judge may determine that some part of your injury should be “apportioned” to the prior injury. That determination may or may not have an impact on the amount you are entitled to receive for the new injury. In any case, it’s essential that you have a thorough examination, as you may experience similar symptoms, but have injury to an entirely different part of your body.
At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.