In a workers’ compensation claim, you are eligible to recover benefits as the result of an injury you sustained at work. But what if your workers’ compensation claim settles and later your injury gets worse? Can you reopen your claim? The short answer is yes, your claim can be reopened. However, there are important things to keep in mind.
Reopening Your Claim
Under Nevada law, if your work-related injury or condition changes or worsens, you have the right to request a reopening of your claim. You may then be able to recover further benefits for medical expenses, mileage reimbursement, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. An injured worker could not reopen their claim if they lost an appeal. As the injured worker, the burden of proof is on you to prove that your claim should be reopened. You must show that it is more likely than not that your claim needs to be reopened. In order to establish this fact, it is important to have a letter from a doctor.
In order to reopen your Nevada workers’ compensation claim, you must obtain a letter from a doctor indicating that your injury or condition has worsened since your claim closed. This letter will be given to you directly, and you will submit it to the insurer and request that your claim is reopened. The doctor’s letter must state specific information, including:
- That your condition or injury has worsened since the original claim was closed
- That you need treatment for the worsening of your injury or condition
- A description of the necessary treatment
- That there is a direct relationship between your worsened condition at the time you ask for a reopening and your original injury
- That your work injury is the primary cause for your need to reopen your claim
What if I’ve Retired or Quit my Job Since the Claim Closed?
If you have retired or quit working since your claim closed, then you will not be entitled to all available benefits. If your claim is reopened you may only be entitled to medical expenses for your worsened condition.
There is no limit to the number of times an injured worker can request to reopen their workers’ compensation claim. However, if a request is denied, the injured worker must wait one year before making another request.
Get Help from an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If your injury or condition has worsened and you would like to request a reopening of your workers’ compensation claim, you should consult with an experienced attorney. At GGRM, we have been helping injured workers for over 50 years. To set up your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 702-978-7641 today.