How Pre existing Conditions or Prior Injuries Can Affect Your Workers Compensation Claim


So let’s…see now the camera loves me. See before was before the camera did not love me and if I go like this, then it will come to you, so that’s even better. Okay. So should we talk in a manner that will make people trust us with their lives and cases? Okay, this is very serious. Okay, so today we’re gonna be talking about what happens if you’ve been injured on the job and you have a pre-existing condition or a pre-existing injury and that can obviously affect your your rights and your benefits and let’s face it, you will be asked this question. You will be asked so many times six ways till Sunday have you had any other problems? Have you had similar problems etc? A lot of times they won’t define what problems means. Right? Doctors could say well, have you had any problems with your back before and you’re like well No, I haven’t and you’re thinking about it because you’ve never lost work, you’ve never gotten any money for any back injury blah blah blah, but sure you’ve gone to the doctor repeatedly for you know, every three months for six years complaining of back pain. Well, guess what? Problems means have you gone to see any medical provider who writes anything down about your condition or your complaints? That’s what it means period, and so it’s a huge issue and there are ways to handle it and there are ways it don’t and Ronda and I have two cases both with the same employer as it would turn out and one client did it one way and the other client did it the other way. So before we go into what your client did, my client had not only treatment but also had surgery for his back, had taken time off work for his back, and then maybe a year later gets into another acci…gets into an injury at work. He’s asked first thing when he fills out the report of injury, have you had prior problems? He says yes, I had you know I had surgery and blah blah blah puts it down. He goes and sees the doctor, the workers compensation doctor and he’s asked have you had any? Yes, I had blah blah blah, you know, and he lists he lists it out. Okay. He won his case. There was no question in terms of his credibility, believability. He was able to say yes, I did. However I for the last nine months, I didn’t have to go back to the doctor, I had never missed work, I was able to do everything. They released me full duty full restriction, you know no restrictions, and I could do everything and It really wasn’t an issue. So what happened with you? Okay So my client when he was asked about prior injuries denied ever having an injury to his back. The problem was his injury was clear back in 2008. So is that like 10 years ago? Ten years ago and he felt like he had completely recovered and had gone on to do many other heavy heavy heavy requirement job categories. Physically demanding…demanding. He had passed a physical exam so when the adjuster was…had never gone back to the doctor for 10 years…10 years and the problem was again when he’s being asked at the time he’s reporting a new injury He denies ever having had a back injury and unfortunately in his case, he did have an impairment rating That was given…so he got money for it…money for it plus surgery. Plus…no, he had no surgery. He didn’t have surgery, but money and had permanent work restrictions so which, which they were really old right, but they hadn’t gone away. I mean he had not because he hadn’t seen a doctor, no one had readdressed the situation so he had tried to you know have them removed. But he could have said listen I got better and I’ve been through all these physical examinations and I’ve been doing a job that made me lift 50 pounds or more and who cares what the doctor had said in 2008 that I only had, could only lift 20 pounds. I’ve been able to lift 50 for the last five years no problem and it would’ve been okay, correct? Yeah, I mean again had he said and I…but I had this prior injury…right. The problem was the failure to admit at all that there was ever that injury, on a number of occasions. It’s not even just once. So failure to report it at the time he’s reporting a new injury, failure to tell the insurance company, failure to tell any of the medical providers that how well he had he was doing and so that’s all he would have needed to do was basically be very upfront and they could have dealt with the fact that yes we have a situation here where you’re completely good and instead what happened is the Unfortunately, the administrative law judge decided because he couldn’t be honest and the insurance company I mean first the insurance…well first the insurance company But then ultimately the judge decided because he wasn’t honest about that, it put into question his whole claim. He had a very legitimate claim outside of that. Absolutely. But that was the problem. And, and so often times you’ll think well, I You know, I didn’t remember or I forgot or whatever and I’m gonna just let you know Very quickly it will it will be argued not you’re forgetful But you are a liar And and if you lie about that thing then everything else you say is a lie and so we really strongly advise our clients and all injured workers to be completely upfront about their prior medical condition because what really matters, what we really are looking for if we’re looking at a prior condition that you had is In the year before your injury, how many times were you off work because of this? In the year before the injury how many doctor’s appointments were there for this condition? In the year before the injury was your medication, you know, were you taking medicine etc? In the year before were you limiting what you could do because of this injury? And if all those answers are kind of no and even if those answers are yes the workers compensation carrier is responsible to get you back to your baseline pre-injury and so, for example, if you had a bad back and you’re going to see a chiropractor once every month and now the injuries occurred and now you have to see a doctor every week, they need to get you better so that you’re back to just seeing a chiropractor once a month and it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean that you don’t get benefits, doesn’t mean you get injured, but they only want you to… They, they want to know what your baseline was And if you lie about it, it’s gonna destroy your case and your credibility. Yes So as always if you or someone you know has been injured on the job in Colorado or they’ve been injured elsewhere, but they they were hired in Colorado, please have them call us at 970-356-9898. Rhonda and I have between us more than 50 years of experience!! Doing this!! This means we’re really good at helping injured workers, but we’re very boring at parties. Right? I’ve worn a lampshade or two in my time. So have a great weekend, and we look forward to helping you. Bye

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