Workers who suffer an injury or illness while they are on the job and while they are completing a job duty may be entitled to pursue and recover various forms of workers’ compensation benefits. Eligible workers could pursue benefits for medical expenses, loss of earnings, and in some instances, permanency.
Even after permanency benefits are awarded, an injured worker might be eligible to reopen his or her case based upon a worsening or change of condition.
If you have been injured while you were on the job or while working within the scope of your employment, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable Orange County workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to meet with you and discuss your eligibility for pursuing a claim. If you are eligible to pursue a claim for workers’ comp benefits, your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize the amounts of those benefits. In addition, your attorney could assist you with reopening your case based upon a worsening or change of your medical condition.
Permanency Benefits in an Orange County Workers’ Compensation Case
Permanency benefits are typically available in cases where a healthcare provider can state in writing, and to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the worker suffered a permanent injury or illness because of an on-the-job accident. Also, to be eligible for permanency benefits, the worker must have reached a level of maximum medical improvement. This does not necessarily mean that the worker is 100% recovered from his or her injuries. Rather, it means that the worker is not expected to get any better.
Once permanency benefits are awarded, however, an injured worker might be able to reopen his or her case based on a change of condition. This usually means that the injured worker’s condition becomes more serious and where there has not been an intervening accident or other explanation for the worsening of condition.
Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Case
After permanency benefits are awarded, an injured worker might be able to reopen his or her case due to a worsening of condition or other change of condition.
In order to reopen a workers’ compensation, claim for worsening of condition, you must do so within five years of the date of your original injury. You do this by filing a petition with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate either that your medical condition (your injury or illness related to a workplace accident) got worse – or that you needed additional medical treatment. Most often, medical testimony will be necessary to prove a change in condition.
If you believe that your medical injury or illness got worse within the five years after the original date of your injury or workplace accident, a knowledgeable Orange County workers’ compensation attorney could assist you with reopening your case and pursuing additional benefits on your behalf. A lawyer could file a petition with the Workers’ Compensation Commission and represent you at the hearing that will typically be set in the matter.