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My Injury Has Gotten Worse: Can I Reopen My Workers Compensation Case?

Sometimes, a person’s medical state can just get worse. When that happens, they need additional treatment or surgery to get better.

In Missouri, those who get injured on the job are generally covered by workers compensation laws. This policy will cover the cost of medical treatment and even account for lost wages.

Sometimes, these injuries are minor, and after only a few months of treatment, the worker may resume their work activity with no issues. However, some cases may be more complicated, and the worker’s injuries may worsen over time. When that happens, you have some options for getting additional compensation.

What Happens Then?

You’ll need to look at your workers’ compensation settlement. If you worked with a St. Louis work injury lawyer the first time around, contact them and inform them of your situation. They can analyze the settlement and see what your options are. If you haven’t, you may want to reach out to one and discuss your case.

Generally speaking, the workers’ compensation settlement should cover any future treatment necessary for your recovery. If that is stated in your settlement, then you can simply submit all the medical bills you have, even if it’s to treat complications and wait for reimbursement.

However, you may need to reopen your workers’ compensation case and go back into negotiations with your employer and the insurance company. The insurance company may ask for evidence that the complications are relevant to your work injuries, and not just some other condition you may suffer from, or other causes outside of work. Your lawyer can handle this process and represent you in meetings with the insurance company.

However, some settlements include a full final release of all claims, which essentially means you waive your right to bring any future claims for your injury. If you read your settlement and this mention exists, it, unfortunately, means you most likely won’t be able to reopen the workers’ compensation case. In some cases, a lawyer can argue on your behalf and circumvent the waiver, but if they can’t, you may need to see what other compensation options you have.

Another option would be to file a new compensation claim and argue your worsen condition constitutes as a “new” injury. You’ll most likely need a doctor’s testimony that confirms it, but even so, this could be a rather lengthy legal battle.

What Should You Do?

In the best case scenario, you get the workers’ compensation benefits, take care of your medical state, and hopefully go back to work in no time. However, for many workers, things are more complicated.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

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Updated: April 4, 2024