When it comes to an auto or work accident, it can be extremely difficult to prove that the trauma—whether acute or cumulative—aggravated a pre-existing condition like arthritis and degenerative disc disease. However, it is important for you to know that an injury or trauma on someone’s property, on the road, or on the job that reactivates a condition, makes a condition worse or makes an underlying, dormant condition symptomatic gives you the right to file a claim and be compensated for medical treatment and wage loss.
When you are involved in a car accident, the last thing you want is to deal with an insurance company that looks for any reason not to pay you what you deserve. If you have a pre-existing condition, and the impact of the crash made it worse or activated or reactivated the symptoms, they may try to argue these “new” symptoms have always been around—even before the crash.
The fact of the matter is an insurance company cannot deny your claim based solely on the fact you had a pre-existing condition. According to a legal concept known as the Eggshell Skull Doctrine, which Pennsylvania law encapsulates, a victim of another’s carelessness or negligence has a right to be compensated for suffering a material aggravation of an underlying condition.
This means either that: the victim has an asymptomatic pre-existing condition that is made symptomatic; or, the victim’s existing symptoms are made worse for a significant period of time.
In order to secure the compensation you deserve, you must prove your injuries were caused by, or aggravated by, the car accident. You will need to present:
These are some of the most difficult cases to prove, and the insurance company is never on your side. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident or on someone else’s premise, and it made your arthritis, degenerative disc disease or other pre-existing condition worse—don’t go at it alone! You need an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney on your side. Call Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides medical treatment coverage and wage loss compensation to workers suffering from work-related injuries or diseases. The law dictates an injury must be directly related to a specific workplace incident, repetitive workplace activity causing a chronic injury, or the aggravation of a pre-existing condition.
Unlike a lot of other states, Pennsylvania workers’ comp cases involving pre-existing injuries do hold employers responsible for compensation for the entire injury, rather than just the aggravation of an already existing injury. In fact, our law considers an aggravation of a prior injury to be an entirely new injury—mandating liability be assumed by “the employer for whom the claimant was working when the aggravation occurred.”
Employers or insurance companies may try to deny the claim by arguing they were not aware of any pre-existing condition. That said, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation act requires employers provide benefits regardless of the visibility or awareness of a pre-existing condition.
The term arthritis is associated with joint inflammation and is generally used to describe the many different types of rheumatic conditions that have an impact on a person’s joints, the connective joint tissue, and the tissue that surrounds the joint. Common types of arthritis that can be aggravated through work include:
People diagnosed with arthritis often experience stiffness, swelling, redness, and pain around their joints, and can be impacted by functionality limitations of their knees, wrists, hands, hips, and shoulders.
Degenerative disc disease on the other hand is a widespread condition that can lead to debilitating lower back and neck pain. This is a condition that many people deal with at some point in their lives, simply due to the fac that spinal discs degenerate and lose the ability to absorb shock, naturally, through the years.
Any injury to the disc can accelerate and aggravate the condition. In fact, most of the pain associated with degenerative disc disease is not from the condition itself—but rather is due to an injury of the neck or back. These include:
Any job can lead to neck and back pain, but there are certain industries that produce a higher volume of these types of injuries due to the sheer nature of the work. Manual labor jobs that require heavy lifting, twisting, and turning are the main culprit. Repetitive motion work, along with jobs that require a worker to remain sedentary for too long, can also aggravate these conditions. They include:
If you or someone you know has aggravated a pre-existing condition, like arthritis or degenerative disc disease, call us right away!
Navigating Pennsylvania’s motor vehicle accident laws and workers’ compensation system is not easy, and you should not go at it alone. As soon as possible after suffering an injury in a car crash or on the job, you should call an experienced auto accident and workers’ comp attorney. Insurance companies circle the wagons after a vehicle accident or workers comp injury, doing everything possible to limit their financial exposure. You and your family need top-rated accident and injury lawyers to fight for you and get all of the wage loss benefits, medical treatment and pain and suffering compensation you deserve!
At Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., we’ve won 99% of our cases and have recovered more than $85,000,000.00 for our clients. We can help you too. Call us at 1-800-HURT NOW. Your case consultation and evaluation is absolutely free and there is never a fee until we win money for you!
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