California law does not discriminate against injured workers who have had past injuries either at work or outside of work, even if those past injuries have affected the same body parts that were injured in a new injury.
However, it is very very important that the injured worker disclose to either their treating doctors or the workers comp insurance company when they are asked whether they have had past injuries.
The reason this is important, is that Worker’s Compensation law requires that medical evidence be considered “substantial medical evidence” in order for that medical evidence to control a workers compensation case. In order for a doctors report to constitute substantial medical evidence, the doctor must have an accurate medical history.
IN OTHER WORDS, if a doctor that you are being treated with or evaluated by for a NEW work injury does not know about a PRIOR WORK INJURY, that doctors reporting and conclusions will likely not constitute substantial medical evidence upon which a judge can order benefits.
In addition to the medical reporting being affected if you withhold prior injuries, if the insurance carrier discovers that you had prior injuries (which is very easy to do), but you have not disclosed that to your doctors, ESPECIALLY IF THE PAST INJURY WAS TO THE SAME BODY PARTS injured in a new work injury, it is one of the EASIEST WAYS FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO ATTACK YOUR CREDIBILITY which can also have a significant impact on your case and the doctor’s conclusions about your injuries.
EVEN IF you believe that your past injuries healed, or that you no longer had complaints from injuries in the past, it is still very important that you are honest and upfront with your doctors in the workers compensation case to avoid being accused of being dishonest and jeopardizing the credibility of the medical reporting.
Please remember, this goes for past injuries at work or out of work and even past car accidents. Even if you had car accidents where you were not injured, if you are asked whether you ever have been in car accident, you should say yes. If your name appears on a insurance claim in connection with any motor vehicle accident, that information will show up on an insurance database search. Be upfront, if you are not injured in a car accident, indicate that you had an accident and you are not injured.
To review, if you have a new work injury, and if you are asked whether you have had injuries in the past, and to what body parts, you must be honest and upfront.
In doing so, you eliminate the insurance companies’ ability to attack your credibility because when you are asked about past injuries, you gave all of the information upfront.
If you have any questions about a new Worker’s Compensation claim or how your past injuries can impact your current claim, please call or text (213)377-5513 and we will be happy to give you an evaluation completely free.
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