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IL Workers Comp: Court of Appeals Articulates Standard for Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

Regarding: Schroeder v. IWCC (2017).

So many claims hinge on whether the Petitioner’s condition was caused by the alleged work accident or a pre-existing condition. The attached August decision from the Illinois Court of Appeals is not a statement of any new legal standard, but it does contain a clear and concise explanation of how the appellate courts decide whether a work accident is a compensable aggravation of a pre-existing condition. The Court of Appeals stated:

“That is, if a claimant is in a certain condition, an accident occurs, and following the accident, the claimant’s condition has deteriorated, it is plainly inferable that the intervening accident caused the deterioration. The salient factor is not the precise previous condition; it is the resulting deterioration from whatever the previous condition had been. Indeed, had no case ever articulated this logic, the commission could have drawn this inference simply as a reasonable factual inference.”

Keep this standard in mind as you evaluate the compensability of Illinois claims involving pre-existing conditions.