Because of current computerized sharing of information between insurance companies and in the discovery phase of litigation, it is highly probable that the workers’ compensation insurance company will learn of any pre-existing injuries or illnesses. By not acknowledging past (or subsequent) injuries or conditions, your employer may make you out to be a liar or a faker regarding the seriousness of your injuries thereby compromising your ability to recover benefits. Nebraska law allows for recovery due to an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Nebraska Workers’ Compensation law has long recognized that a preexisting condition which is aggravated or lit up by a new event is a compensable claim (meaning it is the same as an injury to a worker without pre-existing conditions) even if the same event at work would not have resulted in any injury or permanent condition in the absence of the preexisting condition. This is known as the Heiliger Doctrine from 1990 specifically provides:

“…a workers’ compensation claimant may recover when an injury, arising out of and in the course of employment, combines with a preexisting condition to produce disability, notwithstanding that in the absence of the preexisting condition no disability would have resulted…”

You were healthy enough to labor for your employer one moment prior to being hurt. A pre-existing condition never helps the case but is not uniformly fatal to the case.

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Steve Howard Law
4060 Vinton St.
Suite 201
Omaha NE, 68105


office: (402) 281-4680
fax: (402) 281-4694

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