Can You Get Benefits for Aggravating a Prior Injury?
When you’ve suffered an injury in the workplace, you generally have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits, provided you can prove that you were hurt and that the injury was sustained during the course of your employment. What happens, though, when you’ve suffered an injury, taken time off and returned, only to aggravate the injury. Can your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company reject your claim, contending that you’ve already received benefits for this injury?
Will the Prior Payment of Benefits for An Injury Prevent You from Recovering for a Repeat Injury?
New Jersey does not prohibit an injured worker from seeking workers’ compensation benefits when he or she cannot work because of aggravation of an earlier injury. The benefits you receive, though, will typically depend on the causes of the new accident, and whether or not it resulted from the prior injury. If, after the initial injury, you went through rehab or followed all medical requirements, and were cleared to return to work without any limitations or need for additional care, the prior injury should have no impact on your ability to recover workers’ compensation benefits with a new claim.
Suppose, though, that you suffered an earlier injury and returned to work, but were still receiving treatment for the initial injury. Or that you were cleared to return to work with specific limitations, but ignored them or did things on the job that were not cleared by your doctor or were contrary to your doctor’s recommendations. If you aggravate the injury, your employer may ask that your benefits be “apportioned,” with some part of your claim allocated to the initial injury and some to the subsequent re-injury.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.