Under Colorado law, the aggravation of a previous medical condition can be as compensable as the causation of a new injury.  The rules of compensability vary depending on the type of injury.  In occupational disease cases, liability for an injury is assessed against the party at risk at the time of the last injurious exposure, substantial permanent aggravation. (See discussion of “substantial permanent aggravation” elsewhere in this Glossary.)  In traumatic cases, even a temporary or minor aggravation of a previous condition can mean that an employer or insurance company is liable for workers’ compensation benefits.  It is not a defense to a claim that the injured worker had a prior injury or medical condition if there is evidence that the work-related condition has aggravated that preexisting condition.  There may be apportionment, however, of temporary and permanent disability benefits as well as of medical benefits.

Cairns & Associates, P.C.

3900 E. Mexico Avenue
Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210

Phone (303) 481-6345
Fax (866) 277-0355

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