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Yes. An aggravation of a prior condition is still a work injury- so long as your doctor 1) is aware of the prior condition, 2) states that your work activity aggravated it, and 3) the Judge (if the claim isn’t accepted voluntarily) finds your doctor to be more credible than an opposing doctor such as a panel doctor for the employer or an independent medical examiner.
Please also remember that for the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act to apply, you must be an employee and not an independent contractor.
Like other claims, an aggravation can occur suddenly or as a result of repetitive work activities. With repetitive work activities, the date of injury is usually the last day of work- with the theory being that each day is a new aggravation and thus a new injury.
Aggravation claims tend to be even more vigorously defended than new injuries- as it’s obviously easier for a doctor to pin some blame on the prior condition. While clinical findings are always important, if your doctor can show a worsening diagnostically– on an MRI, X-Ray, CT Scan, etc- then the aggravation claim will be strengthened as it can be asserted that the worsening is proven objectively rather than solely in a subjective way.
The most common aggravation injury I see is for the lower back (lumbar spine). Many people have had back pain due to prior work injuries, car accidents, or simply degeneration due to the natural aging process. As always, it is very important to tell all physicians about your prior conditions so that they can juxtapose the records and formulate a credible opinion as to the work-relatedness of your current condition.
For more information about Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation, call or email PA Work Comp Lawyer Michael Cardamone at 215-206-9068 or email Michael@cardamonelaw.com for a free and prompt consult 7 days a week.