Scenario: You suffered an on-the-job back injury that required medical treatment and time away from work. You took all the proper steps and followed the California workers’ compensation regulations. Soon, your condition improved, and your claim was resolved.
Unfortunately, a year later, your back injury resurfaces, and now you are suffering from pain and reduced mobility. What can you do? Reopen your claim? Open up a new case? Live with your work injury without seeking additional workers’ compensation benefits?
Reopening a claim may be possible
When job injuries and disabilities resurface or worsen, you may be able to reopen your workers’ compensation claim. Injured workers in California have five years to reopen a claim. These five years start on the date the initial injury occurred. You will need to fill out and file a petition to reopen your case.
You must also get a medical report supporting your need for additional workers’ compensation benefits. If you can come up with other evidence or facts showing that you still suffer from your work injury, you can improve your odds of successfully reopening your case.
What if the workers’ comp insurer will not reopen your claim?
When you have proof of your need for benefits, you may not have trouble getting the insurance company to reopen your case. However, there are times when an insurance company disagrees despite the evidence you present. If this happens, you should consider engaging legal counsel to help with your case.
Often, an attorney familiar with the regulations associated with workers’ compensation can help you continue receiving the benefits you need. Part of these services includes assistance completing and filing any documents necessary to continue your claim.