In some instances, a workers’ compensation case can be reopened after it has been settled. This can happen if your condition has changed and the effects of your workplace injury or illness have worsened over time.
If you want to reopen your case, contact a tucson workers compensation lawyer for assistance. Your lawyer can determine if you can reopen your case and guide you through each step of the process while they pursue the compensation they deserve.
Why a Workers’ Comp Case can be Reopened
The following are the reasons a workers’ comp case can be reopened:
- Your condition has significantly worsened. You need to prove that your condition has greatly declined since your claim was settled. This condition should be linked to your original workplace injury or illness and not because of other causes like a new injury or aging. But, you don’t have to reopen your case if your workers’ comp settlement included the right to future medical care.
- Inaccurate workers’ comp award. If new evidence has been discovered that shows your original workers’ comp award was inaccurate, you can reopen the case to resolve an unavoidable error of fact.
- Law errors or mistakes. If there was a mistake or error in the law that caused the inaccurate results, you can reopen your workers’ comp case.
Reopening your case can be quite difficult if you signed a full and final release settlement. Signing this settlement means you give up your rights to pursue future claims in exchange for your original settlement. But, you can reopen your case even if you signed the settlement if you can prove the insurance company committed fraud when getting you to sign the agreement.
How to Reopen Your Case
To reopen a workers’ comp case in Arizona, you need to file a petition to reopen and offer supporting medical evidence with Arizona’s workers’ comp agency. This evidence may include a statement from your doctor, medical records, and other proof that your condition has worsened.
Can You File a New Claim?
Although reopening a claim is possible, it is often advisable to file a new claim instead. For instance, if your original work-related injury has gotten worse, you can file a cumulative claim, which often refers to progressive illness or repetitive injuries. But, you should consult an attorney to determine whether to reopen an old case or file a new claim. Your lawyer will help you explore your options.