Can You Seek Benefits If You Aggravate an Old Injury?
In New Jersey, when you’re hurt on the job, you have a right to pursue benefits under state workers’ compensation law. But what if the injury you suffer only happened because of an earlier work injury you suffered in the past? Or what if the new injury is an aggravation of one that you sustained outside of the workplace? Can you still pursue workers’ compensation benefits?
Recurring Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
There is no rule that prevents you from recovering benefits for a work-related injury involving the aggravation or re-injury of a pre-existing or prior condition, whether the injury was previously sustained in the workplace or somewhere else. However, even though you can file a new workers’ comp claim for an injury related to a pre-existing condition, you may see a reduction of the benefits paid to you, based on a prior injury.
Prior Work-Related Injuries
If you suffered a prior work-related injury, and received workers’ compensation benefits for that injury, you may or may not be able to recover full benefits for an aggravation or recurrence of that injury. If you undergo medical treatment for the initial injury and are considered fully healed by your doctor before you suffer the reinjury, you should be able to recover full benefits for the new injury. If, however, you recovered from the initial injury just enough to return to work, but you were still under the care of a doctor, your benefits may be prorated or reduced.
Prior Injuries Outside of the Workplace
If you suffered an injury in childhood, or during a leisure activity, and you aggravate that injury at work, you can expect to have your workers’ compensation claim prorated, as workers’ comp is intended to cover work-related injuries only.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of workplace accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.