It's a relieving feeling to finally put a workers' comp case behind you and move forward with your benefits. Unfortunately, for many people, that sense of relief is only temporary.
Why Reopen a Case?
There are several common reasons you might find it necessary to reopen a workers' comp case. For example, if your condition has gotten worse since the injured-at-work lawsuit, you might want to obtain new benefits to compensate for your new losses. In other cases, new information regarding the accident may have emerged, and that new information could be significant enough to alter the original ruling.
Limitations to Reopening a Case
These types of situations can leave you wondering, "Can a workers' comp case be reopened?" The answer: If the original ruling was a Stipulation and Award settlement, you can often reopen it up to 5 years after the date of the accident.
This process requires effort on your part however. When it comes to worsening health conditions, you'll need to submit medical proof from a physician. If you believe an error was made originally or new evidence has emerged, you'll need to present that information as well. NY workers' compensation lawyers can help you with this task.
In addition, if you originally agreed to a "full and final" settlement, it's unlikely that you can reopen the claim at all. With this type of settlement, you received a lump sum in exchange for your ability to revisit the claim in the future.
It's best to consult with a professional New York workers' compensation lawyer to determine if it's possible to reopen the case and, if so, how to go about it. Oftentimes, suing work for injury benefits requires plenty of legal expertise, but there's no need to handle the case alone.