The Impact of Preexisting Conditions on Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Georgia, an aggravation of a preexisting condition is considered to be a compensable workers’ compensation claim. This means that just because you had a previous injury or condition to the same part of your body that was injured on the job, you may still be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment. In the area of workers’ compensation, employers take employees “as they find them”, including any preexisting conditions. Therefore, an aggravation may give rise to a compensable workers’ compensation claim.
In 1994, the Georgia Legislature amended the definition of “injury” and “personal injury” in O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-1(4) to state that “an injury and personal injury shall include the aggravation of a preexisting condition by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, but only for so long as the aggravation of the preexisting condition continues to be the cause of disability; the preexisting condition shall no longer meet this criteria when the aggravation ceases to be the cause of the disability.”Continue Reading