Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Pennsylvania Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    237

    Default Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    Has anyone had to fight this battle? the w/c dr says I had a sprain/strain and go back to work, when I clearly could not, ended up having a 3 level fusion done, and w/c stopped my benefits because they said they are only responsible for the aggravation, and they would cover me until I was back to where I was prior to my work injury, well, it took surgery to do that, and they still dropped me after 3 weeks and said my sprain is better.
    It's very frustrating, I only wanted to be covered until my surgeon released me, and go back to work.......now it's a nightmare! any thoughts, or has anyone been told this before, and actually won?
    thanks for any input...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-existing Condition

    I have fought this battle many times. Your doctor needs to provide an opinion that the work injury substantially worsened your underlying condition resulting in the need for surgery.

    From your post, I assume that the employer originally accepted the claim under a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable, which they can withdraw during the 90 day period from the date of notice. If they actually picked up your claim through a Notice of Compensation Payable, they can not just stop paying without an agreement, judge's decision or uncontested Notice of Suspension/Modification.

    If you do not have a lawyer, you will need to get one. He will be able to walk you through the petitions which will now be necessary to get your benefits paid.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    Thank you, you sure know your stuff..........that's exactly what they did, they paid me for about 3 weeks, said to go back to work, and dropped me....I do have an attorney, my first court date was when I was in surgery, my lawyer went, and the other side was a no show.....the judge gave a date 8 months from now.............does that sound reasonable do you think? it seems so long, and now I'm on short term disability collecting 1/2 my pay.....not sure I can wait 8 months.....
    thanks for any input...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    p.s. you say you fought this many times, was it ever a "win"?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    Yes. Again, the medical is key. If you have a strong opinion from your doctor, and some pre and post diagnostic studies showing a change in the underlying condition, you have a strong case. Even without the diagnostic studies, if your doctor testifies well, you can certainly pull this off.

    You said that the defendant did not show up for the first hearing. Did they file an answer to your claim petition? If not, your lawyer may be able to pursue a "Yellow Freight Motion" which would potentially result in an acceptance of an injury without the need for full litigation. Depending on how specific your claim petition is, the exact description of injury may still be in dispute and disability (wage loss) would remain contested.

    As to the time frame, that does sound about normal. Most of these cases take at least 12 months start to finish and many take 18 months or more.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    I have been injured at work with my back, I have had this problem for about 2 yrs. I was injured at work in March, had an I,M.E, who stated my back pain and disc is in no way associated with the accident, but my spine doc states it is. I.M.E doc states I should have had surgery 1 yr ago when sugessted, but I was feeling better til the injury. They have stopped all payments, and refused any more treatments. Is there anything I can do??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition

    The short answer is yes, there is defiantly something that can be done. If your spine doctor says your condition is related to your work injury, you can pursue a petition to obtain benefits. If you do not have a lawyer, I would suggest that you get one since the process can be tricky. If you have any fact specific questions, please feel free to send me a PM or e-mail.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

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