Californians who are injured on the job and seek workers’ compensation benefits may at some point want to reopen the claim. There are many reasons for this including a change in circumstances such as a condition growing worse, the need for increased medical treatment, and for other reasons. The insurer might also try to reopen a case.
It is important to understand the law for when this might happen regardless of whether it is the claimant, the insurer or the employer who wants to look at the case again. Cases can be reopened if there was a mistake, an error in the process, the conditions have changed, the recipient is accused of fraud, or there is a mutual factual mistake.
The most common reason a case will be reopened by a worker is if the conditions change. For example, if the worker’s injury that resulted in being approved for workers’ comp benefits has spread to another part of the body necessitating different treatment, this could be a reason for a change to the benefits. The worker must prove that the condition was linked to the original injury to be entitled to receive more benefits. The change in condition can be mental or physical.
A change in economic circumstances is not enough to warrant the reopening of a claim. The judge can decide whether the case should or should not be reopened. To provide additional benefits, there must be a physician’s report that the condition has worsened. Work accidents can cause many problems in a person’s life. They can face physical, mental and financial challenges because of it. Workers’ comp benefits can help with these challenges. When trying to reopen a case to change the workers’ comp benefits, having legal assistance may be essential.