On many occassions, a Worker’s Compensation case settles, but some time later the pain returns. In such a case, clients may ask if they can re-open their Worker’s Compensation case. The short answer is yes, in most cases, but not all.
If your Compensation case resolved with a successful trial or on an Order Approving Settlement signed by a Judge you can likely re-open; however, you must re-open your case within two (2) years of the date that you received your last settlement check or within two (2) years of the last date that the Workers’ Compensation insurance company paid for authorized medical treatment whichever date is later.
Keep in mind that if you re-open your case and want additional medical treatment you must go to a doctor authorized i.e. approved by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company. If you see an unauthorized doctor, you might have to pay for that doctor yourself. Upon re-opening your case, you might also be entitled to more money for your injuries if they have gotten worse.
Please note that there are settlements that close your case forever and if you agreed to that type of settlement you are not permitted to re-open.
You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to confirm whether you have the right to re-open your case and/or to contact the insurance company to get you more medical treatment. Remember, if you don’t re-open within the period allowed your case will be closed forever.