Visitor Question

Denied benefits for work related injury because of prior back pain?

Submitted By: Lance (Tallahassee, FL)

I’ve had back pain for years. I finally got insurance and was seeing my family doctor. She agreed to send me to a pain management doctor, who is also a back specialist. I saw him and he had 2 MRIs done on me, one with contrast and the other was just plain. He also took x-rays.

He had all of these tests done because I have always had lower back pain. Well, I was at work and was taking a construction buggy full of sheet rock pieces to the construction dumpster, when I rolled the buggy inside of the dumpster.

When I went to dump the buggy, it got unbalanced and was going to turn over to the outside of the construction container, so I caught the buggy and all of the weight. When I did, I got a real sharp pain in my lower back, with pain running down my right leg.

This happened on 6-11-14 around 2 clock that day. I tried to just walk the pain off, but it didn’t pass. I left at 4 clock and drove to the back specialist to see if he could see me. He had already left that day, so I just went home, hoping that the pain would pass. I also knew I had pain medicine at home, so I just took the pain meds I had and made it thru the night.

I knew I had to go back to work the next day because I have all the keys to the job, so I did make it to work, but I was in a lot of pain. I even had to drive with my left foot because of the pain running down my right leg. I made it to work and was in a lot of pain.

As time passed, it got to the point were the pain was just to much, so I left and went to the ER. Before I did, I called my boss to tell them what had happened.

Well, workers’ comp told me today that they had dropped my case because they said it was all because of the pre-existing condition. They said the prior back pain was causing me my current pain. Now I have no money coming in and no doctors to help me with my problem. What can I do? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Lance,

While you have the right to appeal the denial of your claim, you might be better off seeking the advise and counsel of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Your challenge is to be able to prove your current injury is directly and unequivocally an entirely new injury, or an exacerbation of your previous injury. At this point, the workers’ comp adjuster has decided your current injury is entirely unrelated to your job duties.

You are going to need one or more medical narratives including a diagnosis and prognosis, which can prove your current injury is work related, whether it’s an exacerbation of previous injury, or an entirely new injury.

Inasmuch as you have in place medical insurance, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one or more doctors to help support your claim. You can acquire the medical narratives before seeking the advice and counsel of workers’ comp attorney. If you can’t find a doctor to give you the narrative, an attorney may be able to refer you to one.

Learn more here: Pre-existing Conditions

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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