Coloradans who are injured on the job have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. If their claim is approved, the worker will get the benefits they need, which can include the wages that were lost while they were unable to work and compensation for medical care. It is important to remember that not all cases are the same. In some cases, the claim might have been closed, but the person finds that medical care and disability benefits are still needed.
For those in this situation, it is important to know what the law says and how they can succeed in getting their workers’ compensation case reopened. They have the right to file a petition to have their claim reopened. This will be done through the insurance company. The insurer can refuse to reopen the claim. If this happens, the worker can contact the Office of Administrative Courts to file for a hearing.
The filing to reopen the claim can be made within six years of the injury or two years from the date the worker last received benefits. When the person wants to reopen the case but these dates have passed, the request can be made within two years from the date of the last medical benefits. A case can only be reopened if there was a mistake, an error or the person had a change in their condition.
If there was a written agreement between the insurer and the claimant and the agreement stated that the right to reopen the case was waived or surrendered, the only way it can be reopened is if there was a mutual mistake based on material fact or if fraud occurred. Should the case be reopened, the payments will be based on what the wages were when the injury occurred. Reopening the case has no impact on money that has already been paid, except in cases where overpayment occurred.
Being approved for workers’ compensation benefits does not mean that the case is over and the worker will never need help with their claim again. Many issues can arise that make it necessary to have legal assistance. A law firm that has experience in all areas of workers’ compensation can assist with reopening a case to get medical coverage or temporary disability.