Re-Opening A Workers Comp Claim

Injured workers are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for medical, surgical, hospital visits and other treatment recommended by the doctor.  There are times that workers that were receiving compensation benefits that ended, seek to reopen their claim. You can do this if you believe that you need additional medical treatment or compensation for lost income after an injury.


Why People Seek To Reopen A Compensation Claim

new jersey workers compensation lawyerYou can only reopen a compensation claim if the following occur:

  • There is evidence that your insurer acted fraudulently during the claims process
  • Your wage earning capacity has decreased after an accident
  • You discover new information about your medical condition
  • Your health worsens due to work-related injury or illness
  • There was a legal or factual mistake that occurred when your claim was being processed that denied you compensation

Can Worker’s Compensation Benefits Be Extended In New Jersey?

There are provisions in the New Jersey worker’s compensation system to benefit workers that require extra-benefits because of medical changes. You only have two years after your final benefits payment to file a request to reopen a New Jersey worker’s compensation claim. You will need to prove that you require additional medical treatment for your original injury in a petition to reopen your claim. The claim will be permanently closed two years after your final benefits payment.

Steps For Filing A Workers Compensation Claim

To get these benefits, there are steps that you are required to take immediately after the accident, which can determine the trajectory of your case. The first 24 hours after an injury are crucial because they determine how effectively you can respond to that incident.  The steps include:

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical treatment immediately at the clinic or hospital selected by your employer. The most common types of injuries include neck and back injuries, sprains, and more. The doctor will examine you and treat you before those injuries get worse. The documents you get from the doctor will also help your lawyer prepare a solid case for compensation if there is need to.

Talk about your injury And follow orders

You should inform your doctor that your injury is work related so that the doctor will know how to bill you.  Keep all the copies or prescriptions, bills and other medical records. You never know, these records may serve you well later if you are required to present evidence in a hearing or trial. You should also follow the doctor’s orders especially orders concerning how to care for your injury. There have been cases where an employer’s lawyer alleged that the worker made their injury worse and do not deserve certain amount of compensation.

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Your Employer Has To Know About the Injury

You only have 90 days from the date of your injury to report to your employer about the injury.  The report should be made across levels from the supervisor, injury management coordinator, and insurance carriers. If you wait too long, it could be argued that your injuries were never really serious or did not happen as you allege.

Follow-up on your injury claim

Your employer and employer’s insurer should create a report about your injury. Inquire about the report if it has not been filed by your employer or insurer. Hire a lawyer if the process does not seem to be moving forward.