Workers’ Compensation and Prior Work Injuries

daan-stevens-282446-1-copy-300x191Under Georgia law, claims made for worker’s compensation benefits should be rather straightforward. The idea is that when an employee of a company is injured while at work, in the course of working, insurance benefits are available to the injured worker. These benefits should cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related claims. Unfortunately, making a claim is not always so straightforward. If you have questions about an injury you incurred while at work, consult an Atlanta worker’s compensation lawyer today.

Anytime a person begins working for a company, he or she brings an entire past history to the new job. This past includes past injuries, physical incapacities, and other issues that come with a worker, and which can become more complicated when an on-the-job injury occurs. In most cases, it should be a simple matter of compensation after a work related injury, but that is not always the case.

Prior Work Related Injuries

There are certain situations that become complicated and require the guidance and representation of a great Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. One of those situations is when an injury is an aggravation of a prior work related injury, but could be construed by an employer as non-work-related. This is what happened in a recently decided case from the Georgia Court of Appeals in Emory University v. Duval.

In the Duval case, the courts were tasked with determining whether a woman could receive benefits for total disability because of an alleged work related injury. In that case, the woman worked as a nurse for the university, where she was required to lift and move patients, causing her to use her arms and other body parts on a constant basis. In 2010 she injured her shoulder after helping to lift a patient, and was awarded workers’ compensation benefits as a result.

Later on, after receiving treatment and coming back to work, the woman injured her right shoulder again, and again applied for benefits. It is not clear whether she initially hired a workers’ compensation attorney serving Atlanta to file her claim. In any event, she was denied her claim because the University argued that her prior injury was fixed, and when she came back to work her shoulder was hurt in some other, non-work related way. Unfortunately for the woman, the court agreed and she was not awarded benefits.

Hiring the Right Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Atlanta

Cases like this woman’s who suffered from a prior work injury, and then got better, can be surprisingly difficult to navigate in the workers’ compensation scheme. That is why it is so important to hire the right workers’ compensation attorney, so your case gets the attention and expertise it deserves and requires. In the Duval case whether the injured worker was awarded benefits came down to how the experts in the case testified, and how she presented her initial petition. These are are complex issues that should be left to a qualified attorney.

If you were recently injured at work, and are in need of workers’ compensation benefits, please contact us. At The Angell Law Firm we handle every kind of workers’ compensation case, and would love to work for you.