Being physically capable of completing the tasks at work is an essential part of your job. When an illness or injury is chronic or has a lengthy recovery period, you may find yourself needing to go to work when you are not feeling your best.
Regardless of the type of work you perform, accidents and repetitive movements could make mild symptoms more severe. While your preexisting condition could be a factor in a workers’ compensation case, it does not mean you do not qualify.
This is what you should consider if your illness or injury has become worse because of your job.
Many conditions can get worse at work
While common, back injuries are not the only condition that could get worse while you are working. Other illnesses and injuries, like arthritis and fibromyalgia, can start feeling worse because of the demands of your job, such as:
- Repetitive movements
- Heavy lifting
- Awkward movements
When your job puts extra stress on your body, it can worsen mild symptoms and lead to more medical treatment. You may also need more time away from work to recover from your increased injuries.
What is the “eggshell skull” rule, and how does it apply?
It would be easy for your employer to compare your health and resilience to someone without your preexisting condition. However, courts do typically take this viewpoint.
The eggshell skull rule states that the liable party (an employer, for example) is responsible for damages done to the person injured, not an ideally healthy individual. This means that even if someone else would not have experienced an injury (or experienced a less severe injury), your experience is the one that matters.
There may be limits
Your condition, how it changes, and the impact your job had on your symptoms’ severity could all influence how the court views your case. Depending on your situation, the court may only look at the change in symptoms rather than looking back to the onset of your injury, especially if your injury happened before you started the job.
Your workers’ compensation claim can help you pay for your medical expenses. It can also support you while you recover when your symptoms do not allow you to work.