Re-Opening An Old Workers’ Comp Claim
How To Re-Open An Old Workers' Compensation Claim in Minnesota
The closure of a case is not necessarily the end of the road for injured workers. While cases are closed when the insurer believes there will be no further need for medical care or wage loss compensation, it does not negate the possibility of future claims. This article delves into the process of re-opening an old Minnesota workers’ compensation claim, exploring the circumstances under which it is feasible, the implications of closed cases, and the role of legal assistance in such situations.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Case Closure
When a workers’ compensation case is closed, it typically indicates that the injured worker has reached a point where further medical treatment is not expected to be necessary or that their wage loss has been adequately compensated. The insurer makes this decision based on medical assessments and other relevant factors. However, it is essential to recognize that the closure of the case does not eliminate the worker’s right to claim for potential future medical care or wage loss if circumstances change.
Revisiting Claims After Case Closure
After a workers’ compensation case has been closed, there may be situations where the injured worker needs to revisit their claims due to a change in their condition or if they encounter new complications related to the original injury. For instance, the worker’s medical condition might worsen over time, requiring additional treatments or therapies not previously anticipated.
Seeking Legal Assistance: The Role of Harvey and Carpenter
When the insurer denies claims because the case has been closed, it is crucial for the injured worker to seek legal advice from specialized attorneys, such as those at Harvey and Carpenter. These attorneys are well-versed in workers’ compensation laws and can help determine whether the worker still has benefits available despite the case closure.
Making Claims for Future Medical Care
One of the primary concerns for injured workers after case closure is accessing future medical care if their condition worsens or if they require further treatment related to the initial workplace injury. Even with a closed case, injured workers can still make claims for future medical care if they can demonstrate that their condition has changed or that additional treatment is necessary.
Wage Loss Compensation After Case Closure
In some situations, an injured worker might experience a recurrence of wage loss due to the original workplace injury. This could be because the injury resurfaces or becomes exacerbated over time, impacting the worker’s ability to earn a living. In such cases, it may still be possible to make a claim for wage loss compensation even after the case has been closed.
Challenges in Reopening Closed Cases
While it is generally possible to reopen a workers’ compensation case to claim for future medical care or wage loss, there are scenarios where all benefits are closed as part of a settlement. In such situations, reopening the case becomes significantly more challenging. However, it is not entirely impossible, and skilled workers’ compensation attorneys can navigate the legal complexities to present a strong case for reopening.
Meeting the Burden of Proof
To successfully reopen a closed workers’ compensation case, the injured worker and their attorney must provide compelling evidence that justifies the need for additional benefits. This may involve obtaining updated medical reports, expert opinions, and other relevant documentation that supports the claim for future medical care or wage loss.
What Steps Should I Take?
Closing a workers’ compensation case is not the end of the road for injured workers. If circumstances change, and there is a legitimate need for future medical care or wage loss compensation, it is possible to reopen a closed case. Seeking legal assistance from experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can significantly improve the chances of success in such endeavors. Remember that each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific details and evidence presented during the reopening process.
Contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Harvey & Carpenter today by calling 507-779-7529 for a free case consultation.