One of the basic rules of Arizona workers' compensation law is that the employer "takes the employee as he finds him." Maricopa County v. Industrial Commission, 134 Ariz. 159, 654 P.2d 307 (App. 1982). This means that if an injured worker has a pre-existing condition and the industrial work aggravates that condition, the Arizona injured worker may be entitled to compensation benefits.
This area of law also comes into play when determining an injured worker's loss of earning capacity for a permanent disability award. Employers must consider pre-existing issues, which are affected by the disabling industrial condition, when assessing an award for the loss of earning capacity.
I recently took on a case for an injured worker with a bad left shoulder injury from Phoenix. In addition, he has multiple pre-existing disabling conditions for which he is receiving Social Security Disability benefits. This injured worker should be entitled to argue that his left shoulder injury, in conjunction with his pre-existing conditions, affects his earning capacity.
Please feel free to call our Phoenix social security disability attorney or email us if you would like further information on this topic or any others involving Arizona worker's compensation, Social Security Disability, or employment law issues.