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Amazon Workers With Pre-Existing Conditions

Chicago Lawyers for Injured Warehouse Employees

Amazon claims it offers substantial opportunities to its employees. Unfortunately, the job may be extremely stressful, deadline-driven, and dangerous. As an Amazon worker, you may be at risk of catastrophic injuries from accidents, as well as repetitive stress injuries. In particular, Amazon may place workers in the warehouse in hazardous situations and also require them to prepare packages at speed. If you have a medical condition or injury, your working conditions may exacerbate them. You should be aware that a denial of workers’ compensation benefits based on a pre-existing condition is not necessarily valid. Amazon workers with pre-existing conditions may be eligible for benefits when injured on the job. It's important to talk to a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney who understands how to navigate this intricate and complex claims system.

Amazon Workers With Pre-existing Conditions

Many people suffer from pre-existing conditions, including herniated discs, asthma, ligament tears, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, or cancer. Any of these conditions could leave you more vulnerable to work injuries. Additionally, a job environment that is physically or emotionally stressful can worsen pre-existing conditions. For example, stressful work conditions can cause an employee with heart arrhythmia to suffer a heart attack on the job. In that case, you may be able to obtain medical benefits through the workers’ compensation coverage.

For another example, if you hurt your ankle while playing basketball many years ago, and then your ankle is twisted while loading packages in vehicles for Amazon, you may need surgery or another significant treatment. Generally, Amazon will only be responsible for the worsening of the injury caused by the work-related accident. Amazon may try to show that any long-term or permanent impairment you suffer is due to the pre-existing condition, and not an exacerbation. It's critical to choose a credible, experienced physician to evaluate your work injury, along with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

When you visit your doctor after a job-related injury at Amazon, it's important to be let the doctor know that you suffered a work-related injury. You’ll also have to explain how the accident or stress impacted your pre-existing condition, whether it made your pain more severe or decreased your ability to move around. Once she’s alerted your injury is work-related, your doctor should directly bill the workers’ compensation insurer for your treatment. Her records should specify that the job aggravated your pre-existing condition. These records may be used as evidence in a hearing.

Hearing for Amazon Workers With Pre-Existing Conditions

Even when it's clear that your job-related injury exacerbated your prior condition or injury, Amazon’s insurer may deny claims to save money. You should not assume that its denial citing your pre-existing condition is valid. You should file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Once the Application is on file, you can request a workers’ compensation hearing to determine whether you’re entitled to benefits or the amount of the benefits you’re owed. A hearing will be held before an arbitrator who must hear arguments and evidence from both sides. You won’t get a decision at the hearing. Rather, after the hearing, the arbitrator will decide whether your pre-existing condition was exacerbated by the accident or chronic stress at Amazon.

Independent Medical Exam

Even before a hearing, Amazon may ask you to undergo independent medical examination (IME). You should not assume that the IME doctor is on your side or will agree with your treating physician about your pre-existing condition and the aggravation of it. Rather, an IME doctor is often selected by an insurer because of a reputation for siding with insurers and a history of recommending inexpensive treatments, even when work-related injuries are severe.

Discuss Your Claim With a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Amazon workers with pre-existing conditions may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You should talk to the seasoned Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your claim. We also represent Amazon workers in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Sangamon, Cook, Kane, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.