Visitor Question

Will Osteoarthritis Affect My Workmans Comp Claim?

Submitted By: Barbara (Nashville, TN)

I slipped off a company van and sprained my hand. I did not know I had osteoarthritis in that hand. Ever since the fall my finger and hand stay swollen and it’s very painful. I have cream to rub on my hand given to me by my workmans comp doctor, and I take celebrex which was given by my primary doctor.

My question is: Can I get workmans comp for an injury I did not know I had, which had not given me any problems until the fall?

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 Barbara,

Depending upon how long you had been working with your company, you may or may not have a claim for Workmans Compensation. If your doctor can establish your osteoarthritis developed while you had been working for the company you may have a claim.

Most Workmans Compensation insurance companies tend to deny claims for pre-existing injuries. This does not mean your osteoarthritis will automatically be denied. Every employee covered by Workmans Compensation insurance has a right to petition for compensation if they are injured while working.

It’s altogether possible your osteoarthritis began during the time you’ve been working for the company. Even if your osteoarthritis developed before you came to work for your company it’s altogether possible when you fell from the van you did separate and independent damage to your arthritic hand.

We suggest you ask your employer for the names of doctors who are on the employer’s list for Workmans Compensation. You should see that doctor and see what her diagnosis and prognosis for the future for your hand will be.

If you are not satisfied with the doctor’s opinion you have a right to ask to see another doctor on the employer’s list. The only way you can know if you will be covered by your company’s Workmans Compensation policy is if you file a claim. If your claim is initially denied you have a right to appeal your case.

As you are probably aware there are Attorneys who specialize in these types of cases. Most will not charge you to visit with them for an initial office consultation.

Learn more here: Workers’ Comp and 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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Will Osteoarthritis Affect My Workmans Comp Claim?

  1. M says:

    I claimed workers’ comp a year ago due to a neck and elbow pain, as well as tingling on fingers. I have worked with this company for more than 30 yrs as a typist.

    I was most recently diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the hands. I’m wondering if this OA can be all together a workers’ compensation case.

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