Workers’ compensation benefits are issued based (partially) on the severity of an injury. Insurance providers and legal counsel evaluate the type of injury, its effect on the employee’s ability to work, and their projected recovery timeline to decide on how much the injured worker will receive, and for how long.
However, medical conditions are rarely predictable — deciding on a compensation amount that will continually provide the proper benefits to an employee as their injury progresses can be difficult. If a work injury worsens over time, victims have a few options for increasing their benefits and recovering the compensation they deserve.
Some workers’ compensation agreements allow for benefit increases as an injury worsens. If a settlement includes the payment of future surgery, rehabilitation, and other treatment, a worker can provide evidence of their new medical expenses to receive the compensation they need.
Reopening Your Claim
In some cases, reopening the claim may be required to receive additional compensation. To do this, the injury victim must provide evidence, supported by a doctor, that their condition has worsened. Reopening a case is usually required for injured employees who require new disability benefits.
The terms of some settlements prevent reopening a claim. These types of settlements are called a “full and final release,” in which the injury victim is provided with a full settlement and releases their ability to reopen the case or pursue additional compensation.
Filing a New Claim
If the progression of the injury can be attributed to an incident or work condition that is separate from the original accident, the injured employee may be able to file a new claim to receive benefits. For a new claim to be successful, there must be some distinction between the first injury and the new developments. The first injury could potentially be considered a pre-existing condition, and evidence that a new element aggravated that condition would have to be proven.
Recovering additional compensation for a work injury that has been previously addressed is a complicated legal matter. For assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, call Humphrey & Associates at (844) 612-5800 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.