Workers’ Compensation Settlements For Arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease
When a work-related injury aggravates or accelerates your arthritis or degenerative disc disease, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits that can include total or partial disability payments and a cash settlement, though outcomes vary case-by-case.
There is a considerable misunderstanding concerning the right of an injured worker to obtain these benefits for an aggravation of a preexisting injury, particularly as it relates to arthritis and degenerative disc disease. Speaking to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about these conditions will help you decide on the right course of action.
About Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a widespread condition that can lead to serious neck and lower back pain. Almost everyone experiences this medical condition, simply because a person’s spinal discs degenerate and lose the ability to absorb shock naturally over time. An injury to the disc can accelerate and aggravate this degenerative condition. Most often degenerative disc disease pain occurs not from the condition itself, but because a person suffers another back or neck injury.
Degenerative disc disease is not actually classified as a disease, but a medical condition caused by a damaged disc in the spine. Such damage can include a slipped disc, ruptured disc or herniated disc, or a tear in a disc’s outer core, also referred to as an annular tear.
The term arthritis specifically means joint inflammation. It is used generally to explain many different types of rheumatic conditions that affect a person’s joints, soft tissue that surrounds the joint and connective joint tissue. Common types of arthritis include:
Symptoms of arthritis can vary and the onslaught can be gradual or sudden. Most commonly, symptoms include stiffness, swelling, redness, pain around one or more joint (i.e. knees, wrists, hands, hips and shoulders) and limitation of the function of surrounding and supportive body structures.
Types of Work That Can Aggravate Arthritis or Degenerative Disc Disease
Certain jobs make a person more susceptible to aggravating a pre-existing condition like arthritis or degenerative disc disease. People are more susceptible to aggravating their pre-existing arthritis if they hold jobs that require them to perform repetitive motions, to endure high impact activities, or to remain sedentary for long.
Examples of such jobs include:
- Truck Driving
- Heavy Machine Operation
- Assembly Line Work
- Construction Work
- Other Types of Manual Labor
How Work Injuries Aggravate These Pre-Existing Conditions
People are more likely to aggravate their degenerative disc disease when they work in manual labor jobs that require repeated heavy lifting, twisting and turning. Any job that can potentially lead to a neck or back injury can aggravate degenerative disc disease. Repetitive motion work injuries can be a serious detriment to health and a workers’ comp attorney can help.
When seeking workers’ compensation settlements for arthritis or degenerative disc disease, it is important to understand that these conditions are compensable regardless of whether the preexisting condition was work-related.
Workers’ compensation benefits cover work-related injuries that aggravate a preexisting condition even if that condition made the person more susceptible to future injury. When claiming compensation for an aggravation of a preexisting condition, a person must simply show that the aggravation of the injury was work related and the resulting disability prevented them from working.
Workers’ Comp Claims For Arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease
Workers’ compensation laws require employers to carry policies with insurance companies that cover employees’ work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation coverage is usually available regardless of employer culpability or the employee’s prior physical condition. Therefore, injuries aggravated or accelerated by your work injury are compensable under workers compensation.
The basic legal eligibility requirements for any workers’ compensation claim are:
- That an employee suffers a work-related physical or mental injury
- That the resulting disability prevents the employee from working in his or her regular duty position.
- That the employee provide notice to an employer within the statutorily required period of time
Average Compensation For Arthritis & Degenerative Disc Disease Cases
As mentioned in the beginning, there is no standard settlement for these types of injuries. Every case has different circumstances and levels of severity. But if you aggravated your arthritis or degenerative disc disease while working, you are entitled to benefits. Compensation for these cases can include disability payments and a cash settlement.
Talk to a Lawyer if a Workplace Injury Has Aggravated Your Arthritis or Degenerative Disc Disease
Given the time limitations surrounding the filing of a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, it is important to act promptly and before medical bills start piling up. Speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for free legal advice on how your work injury or the aggravation of a pre-existing condition will affect your claim.
Krasno, Krasno, and Owundinjo is a law firm featuring a team of experienced lawyers that can get you the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Please contact us via our website or by calling (866) 948-9088. We will charge you no fee, unless you win your workers’ comp case.