Pennsylvania Work Accident Law – Pre-Existing/Old Injuries (Part 2)


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Can You Recover Financial Compensation
For Your Work Accident? (Part 2)

Many workers, especially those in the construction and industrial industries work through old injuries which often include bad backs, shoulders, or knees. In addition, certain jobs tend to result in specific injuries. For instance, HVAC workers tend to have shoulder injuries because they are often required to lift heavy objects overhead, and carpet installers tend to have bad knees and bad backs because they are always on their knees and have to squat quite a bit.

So what happens when a worker injured in a work accident has a pre-existing injury, like a bad back or bad shoulder? Click here to read part 1 of this article and learn about workers’ compensation benefits in aggravation of old injury scenarios.

Below is a discussion of how pre-existing or old injuries are treated in third party work accident lawsuits. These types of lawsuits are usually filed against non-employer parties such as contractors and other outside companies. Read more about third party lawsuits in work accident cases in PA.

Proving Causation in a Pre-Existing Injury Work Accident Case

The key in obtaining financial recovery in a pre-existing injury work accident case is proving causation. In a tort or negligence claim, like a work accident lawsuit, the plaintiff (injured worker) must prove the following elements:

  1. duty of the defendant,
  2. negligence of the defendant,
  3. negligence caused the injury/damages, and
  4. nature and extent of the damages.

The third element, proving that the negligence caused the injury, is where most pre-existing injury work accident cases are won or lost.

Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation & Construction Accidents

Lawyers representing adverse parties and insurance companies will no doubt argue that the accident did not result in the aggravation injury and/or the injury has fully healed. Rebutting these arguments requires evidence, and when pre-existing injuries are at issue, the evidence necessary to win the case will usually come in the form of medical records, diagnostic test results, and medical expert reports.  Therefore, it is crucial to compare the medical records from before and after the work accident. In some instances, witness testimony will help establish a before and after picture. For instance, a co-worker may offer crucial testimony that the injured worker was simply not the same after the work accident.

More: Compensation for Accidents at Work, Injured at Work in Pennsylvania?

Laffey, Bucci & Kent is a work accident and injury law firm based in Philadelphia and has offices throughout the Northeast area. Our work accident lawyers specialize in handling negligence cases against third parties and may handle workers’ compensation cases. Depending on the facts of a given work accident case, the firm may refer the workers’ compensation case to another law firm. Click To Call

Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.