Worker's Compensation For Subsequent Injuries

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An employee who suffers a work-related injury to an area of the body already physically impaired is still protected by the worker's compensation system.  The prior injury can either be work-related and previously redressed by worker's compensation, or completely unrelated to work.

What Is the Employer's Liability?

Your current employer is only liable for the percentage of the disability that resulted from your new employment.  This rule has the effect of encouraging employers to hire disabled persons without fear of bearing the cost of a pre-existing condition.

What Is the Subsequent Injuries Fund?

Unlike the current employer's liability, the Subsequent Injuries Fund will compensate an injured worker for both the pre-existing disability and the subsequent injury caused by current employment.  There are some additional restrictions on who qualifies for recovery from the Subsequent Injuries Fund, such as the extent of the subsequent disability and which part of the body is injured.

Should I Contact an Attorney to File a Claim for Subsequent Injury?

An attorney is recommended for filing a claim against the Subsequent Injuries Fund because it is a complicated area of the law.  An attorney is also likely to be beneficial for a worker's compensation claim for a subsequent injury that is only seeking the current employer's liability.  Hiring a lawyer can protect against the possibility that the employer's insurance company's wrongfully dismisses a valid claim.

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Last Modified: 06-06-2012 04:20 PM PDT

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