A workers compensation is insurance in the form of financial assistance and medical benefits for workers who get injured while employed with the trade-off of relinquishing the right to sue the employer.
However, there may be cases where the worker has already settled his/her claim, but the injury recurs and worsens. In such cases, here are some tips on what you can do.
Read the Workers Comp Settlement
The benefits entailed by a workers compensation settlement depend on the provisions stated therein which may allow you to reimburse all the medical expenses. If it specifies that future medical expenses will be compensated, then you may simply submit your medical bill for reimbursement.
Reopening your Workers Comp Case
Most states will allow the reopening of claims if there is medical proof that the injuries have significantly worsened. You will need to do this if you want to get temporary disability and permanent disability, which will allow you to receive generally two-thirds of your weekly wage from the time you were disabled in addition to your medical benefits. However, each state has restrictions on the reopening of claims which will depend upon the length of time that has passed since the deal was signed.
When You Are Unable To Reopen
If a full release of claims has been signed, then it is very unlikely that the case can be reopened. A full release of claims means that you are relinquishing your rights to any future claims regarding the injury. Some states have laws against workers waiving their rights to any future medical care, but if that’s not the case you will have to prove fraud.
To do this, you need to prove that the terms of the settlement were misrepresented either by the insurance company or the employers. Reopening cases can be extremely difficult or even impossible, so it’s recommended to read carefully, before accepting settlements.
File for New Injury
You can file for a new workers compensation claim if you can have your injury classified as a new injury. To do this, you will have to prove that a work incident or your company’s working conditions caused the recurring or worsening of the injury.
As long as it is work-related, the workers’ comp may cover the expenses of injuries that cause previous conditions or injuries to recur. For example, after settling a claim for a leg injury the pain comes back after a month due to another workplace incident, you can be eligible to file a new workers compensation claim.
Filing claims for new injuries can vary depending on which state you live in and requires you to provide medical evidence of the worsening of your condition.
Make Sure to Go Over Everything
The terms and wordings of workers’ comp settlements should be carefully analyzed so you can be sure that you are getting all the benefits that you deserve. It could greatly affect any rightful claim such as in this case where injury worsens. Being critical with the settlement can help ease any future worries that you may have and help carry any impending financial burdens.
However, if the settlement has already been closed then your option would be to reopen the claim which will require you to provide sufficient medical proof that the injury has worsened and will allow you to get temporary disability or permanent disability benefits.
If it’s impossible to reopen to the case due to the signing of a full release then you will have two options, to prove fraud through the misrepresentation of the settlement or to file a new claim, which you will need to provide further evidence for in order to show that the worsening of the condition is tied to your working conditions.
Consult an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney
Before you close or file a new claim, having professional help will be necessary in order for you to gain the benefits that you need and deserve. In order to understand what a settlement actually entails based on how it was worded, having an expert is surely the best way to deal with it.
Getting a lawyer will also prevent mishaps when it comes to providing sufficient documents such as medical evidence that can be connected to a workplace incident or to working conditions. Consulting one will also help you learn about the requirements of the state you’re in since the rules may vary depending on the laws of your state.
The Glacier Law Firm is one of Montana’s best firms when it comes to workers compensation cases. So, if you want to help a loved one ease his worsening condition, then you just need to contact the firm. A free case evaluation is available at your convenience by calling (406) 298-6725 or by visit 20 Four Mile Drive, Ste #4, Kalispell, Montana.