Don’t let the employer or insurance company blame your present medical problems on pre-existing medical conditions. That’s not the law.
The Defense Base Act covers new injuries and aggravation injuries. If your employment injury exacerbated or aggravated a pre-existing condition by even 1%, then your employer and its insurance carrier may be liable for your entire disability.
Further, when an injured worker has a consequential or second injury, the employer and its insurance carrier is still liable for the entire disability if the second injury is the natural, unavoidable consequence of the initial work injury.
What does this mean? Imagine a situation where an employee suffers a right knee injury at work. Knee injuries are common in Defense Base Act employment because of the strenuous nature of the work. While healing from the right knee injury, the injured worker walks with an altered gait, or relies heavily on their left knee. Eventually, the altered gait causes hip problems, or the left knee begins hurting because of the additional use. When that happens, the injured worker has suffered a subsequent aggravation injury. The new problems with the hip and the left knee are natural or unavoidable consequences of the initial right knee injury. And those problems are compensable, too.
If you have suffered an aggravation injury, or if your employer and its insurance carrier are telling you that your problems are the result of pre-existing problems, contact an experienced attorney. You may be entitled to compensation and medical benefits.
Contact Jon Robinson at Strongpoint Law Firm for legal representation in your Defense Base Act claim. Jon can be reached at (985) 246-3194, or you can fill out the contact form and let Jon contact you for a free case evaluation.