What Defines Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions?


Are you suffering from a preexisting injury aggravated or exacerbated by workplace factors?

It’s challenging to claim workers’ compensation as you must prove you sustained injuries while on the job and not from other causes. You thus worry if your preexisting condition could damage your claim, especially if you got it before working.

The good news is that you only have to determine if your current condition entitles you to receive workers’ compensation. This post explains the points to remember when claiming benefits if you have a preexisting injury.

Understanding Preexisting Health Conditions

Preexisting health problems are conditions that workers sustained before the injury referred to in a current workers’ comp claim. It may include conditions like:

  • Physical trauma like knee, shoulder, arm, or back injuries
  • Spine injuries like a herniated disc
  • Overexertion or repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Illness like arthritis and diabetes
  • Psychological disorders like anxiety and depression

The thing with these conditions is they may affect current workplace injuries you sustain and cause more severe symptoms or disabilities.

For example, you will likely suffer from severe workplace injuries if you have preexisting diabetes. Diabetes makes your wounds heal slower and increase the risk of infections.

You may think you deserve higher compensation to cover additional medical expenses and more wage loss. The thing is that the workers’ comp system works differently in cases with preexisting conditions. It’s to ensure that the employer is not paying unnecessary costs for the actual current work-related injury.

A professional Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer will help clarify this complex situation for you.

Aggravation VS Exacerbation of Preexisting Conditions


Worker’s compensation insurance providers can try to deny your benefits claim if they discover you have a preexisting health condition. They may prove your old injury merely flairs up, and it could happen whether you are in the workplace or not.

To win your claim, you should thus prove the workplace accident aggravated your preexisting injury and not merely exacerbated it. While aggravation and exacerbation sound similar, they are two different terms in the workers’ comp system.

  • Preexisting Injury Exacerbation

Exacerbation is the temporary worsening of preexisting conditions and may happen because of work-related or non-work-related factors. An example is a knee injury that becomes more painful while you work, but the discomfort will eventually subside after treatment.

You generally cannot claim workers’ comp for exacerbated injuries.

  • Preexisting Injury Aggravation

On the other hand, aggravation is the permanent worsening or complications of preexisting conditions and usually involves a new injury. And you generally may claim benefits in this situation.

An example is suffering from a severe infection after a workplace injury because of diabetes. Another example is knee Osteoarthritis aggravated by a heavy machinery accident on the same spot.

Claiming Workers’ Compensation for an Aggravated Preexisting Condition

While you may generally claim workers’ comp for aggravated preexisting injury, you must prove a workplace factor caused the worsening of your condition. It’s even if you have acquired your preexisting injury long before working in your current job.

Moreover, remember that preexisting health problems may affect the compensation you will receive.

The compensation adjuster will reduce the amount depending on the effects of the preexisting condition on your new injury. They will assess the correct amount that corresponds to the current injury you include in your claim.

Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Glendale for Claims Involving Preexisting Conditions

Your workers’ comp claim will become complicated if it involves a preexisting health condition. You need to prove you have an aggravated injury and ensure you receive the correct amount depending on the adjustor’s assessment.

Hiring a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer helps you handle a complex case and get your rightful benefits.

Scroll to top