Insurance companies will often try to reduce their costs by looking for pre-existing conditions or injuries, delaying the process, and even refusing your claim from the start.
Workers’ compensation system is designed to cover the medical expenses and lost wages of employers who get injured during their work duties or develop an occupational disease. The costs are covered by the insurance company the employer has a contract with, and it’s settled by filing a claim and submitting relevant evidence.
Filing a claim with workers’ comp can be stressful since it involves negotiating and gathering evidence to support your claim. Insurance companies will often try to reduce their costs by looking for pre-existing conditions or injuries, delaying the process, and even refusing your claim from the start, forcing you to file it again.
That is why you should always consider speaking with an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer who can assist you and advise you on your best legal options. A lawyer is aware of all the tricks insurance companies might use and knows how to negotiate with them.
Settling Too Early or Having Unexpected Complications
One of the tactics used by insurance companies to reduce their expenses is to settle the claim as soon as possible by offering a lump sum or what seems to be a reasonable offer before you reach MMI (maximum medical improvement). Avoid settling your claim too early.
There are also cases when you have reached the estimated medical improvement, but after the release was signed, you start showing symptoms of complications or recurrence of the condition.
What do you do in this case? Is there any chance of reopening your claim if your health is still affected after you have settled with the insurance company?
Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Case
Signing a release after settling generally means giving up on your rights to reopen the case. However, if this type of document did not exist, you will still be able to reopen the case if your condition gets significantly worse after receiving compensation for the first claim.
Another scenario would involve improper working conditions that lead to a new injury, even if it’s a worsening of a pre-existing injury for which you already received a settlement. But, in this case, you will have to prove that your employer did not ensure a safe working environment that complied with the doctor’s recommendations after you have returned to work.
Speak With a St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer
To recap, you have a chance of opening new negotiations if your terms of the agreement don’t imply signing a release form, or if you can prove that you have a new injury caused by improper working conditions.
No matter what situation you are in, we strongly recommend being represented legally by an experienced St. Louis workers’ comp lawyer who can approach your case in the most effective, persuasive way possible.
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