Can you reopen your worker's compensation claim? What do you do if after your claim has been closed and settled, your symptoms get worse? Here are some things to know.
Was It a Full and Final Settlement?
Sometimes, your worker's compensation claim will entitle you to future compensation if your medical situation worsens. If so, you can submit medical evidence and reopen your claim. Other times, however, your settlement will be full and final, meaning that you waive your right to future compensation in return for the sum you receive when settling your claim. If that happened, it will be hard to reopen your case. You'll need to prove that there was fraud on the part of the insurance company to do that.
What's Causing Your Problems?
You also have to prove that the worsening of your symptoms was caused by your injury. You'll need a doctor to back up that claim. For example, you may have suffered a back injury, but your new back pain may be because of an unrelated injury or because of aging.
Has the Time Limit Passed?
There's a time limit after which you can no longer reopen a worker's compensation claim. This varies from state to state.
What To Do
The first thing you need to do is get in touch with an experienced attorney. A lawyer will be able to help you determine whether or not you can reopen your claim. You will also need to submit medical evidence and a petition to reopen your claim with the state's workers compensation board.
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