Workers’ Comp: The Gnarly World Of Preexisting Conditions And The Hurdles Of Elective Surgery

This is the third in our series reviewing basic medical-legal aspects of our legal specialties. The focus of this edition is Oregon Workers’ Compensation law. Issues frequently arising in Workers’ Compensation disputes include “preexisting conditions” and “major cause.” The bulk of Volume 27 of our Medical-Legal Journal is devoted to sorting out the various applications … Read more

Revisiting “Preexisting Conditions,” “Major Cause” And Other Terms Used In Workers’ Comp Cases

If your patient has a work-related injury or an occupational disease, it is important for you to understand the current definition of “pre-existing condition.” This requires an understanding of a number of key terms used in workers’ compensation cases. The revised definition of “pre-existing condition” became effective January 1, 2002. Even though it has been … Read more

Is An Aging Back A “Preexisting Condition” Which Should Preclude Comp Benefits

Many workers – our clients and your patients – have suffered (or potentially face) severe economic hardship because their work-related back and neck injuries are precluded from Workers’ Compensation coverage primarily because of their age. This is the result of the new (1995) “preexisting condition” definition which is now being applied in a way which … Read more

Reporting Preexisting Conditions: A Model

This is the third in a 3-part series on preexisting conditions. If your patient’s work injury has combined with a preexisting condition, your opinion on whether the work injury caused 51% or more of your patient’s disability or need for treatment (“major contributing cause”) may determine whether your patient receives Workers’ Compensation benefits. How should … Read more