“I injured my knee at work, but I hurt the same knee years ago and had surgery on it. Can I still have a workers’ comp case in Illinois?”
Yes, if you have a work injury that hurts a body part that already has a medical history (such as you have a pre-existing injury or condition on that body part, or you had to have it fixed at some point in the past), then you can have a possible workers’ comp case in Illinois.
– If you are a construction worker and you tear your ACL in your right knee on the job…
– AND, it’s the same knee that you had surgery on from an old basketball injury in your past,
– AND, the knee was “never quite right” after you had treatment years ago…
…you can STILL have a winning Illinois workers’ compensation case on that knee!
A key would be that you get prompt and complete medical attention, and your doctor or doctors fully document your situation. You need to be clear with them how your knee was prior to this work accident, and then how it is now, and how the job accident caused any increase in symptoms / problems, or completely new symptoms / problems, involving your knee pain and issues.
If your work accident hurts a body part that you had problems with before, always be clear and honest with your doctors, but especially stress any and all NEW or INCREASED problems or pains, which you are having with your injured body part(s), after your work accident. For example, you may say something like, “This part of my knee hurt before the accident, but before it only hurt a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale, but now, it hurts a 9 out of 10 on the pain scale,” or whatever the case may be. You should always be honest with your medical providers, and always remember that you are your own advocate, and the doctors cannot read your mind. Be 100 % clear about what is bothering you and your pain levels.
This type of situation also stresses the importance of key advice I will always repeat: Do NOT give a recorded statement to the work comp insurance company. This especially applies in situations such as this, involving “pre-existing conditions” and “aggravations of old injuries.” The adjuster is trained to get you to say something that could be used to deny your claim, and it’s even more dangerous when there’s a chance you could discuss your past medical history and how it could affect your pains from your new work injury. I repeat: You do NOT have to give a recorded statement to the work comp insurance company. No matter what they tell you, you do not have to give a recorded statement.
Whatever your situation may be, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced, honest and direct Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. One option for you for a free private talk is workers’ comp and personal injury attorney Peter D. Corti at phone # (312)-782-8372, or contact me using our contact form (click here to contact.)