In the state of Arizona, there are certain circumstances that allow the reopening of a worker’s comp claim. Even when the worker has already claimed their benefits, there is still room to revisit the case. In fact, both the insurer and the claimant are well within their rights to dig up an old compensation claim.
Nevertheless, this process can go south without assistance from qualified Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyers. With that in mind, here is some vital information for anyone looking to reopen a worker’s comp claim in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Requirements for Reopening a Workers’ Comp Claim in Arizona
It has been established that an old workers’ compensation claim can be reopened. Nevertheless, not every claim can be revisited. It is only possible under the following circumstances.
The award was inaccurate:
Hunches or feelings are not enough to go on in this case. The claimant needs to have tangible evidence that the award was not accurate. It could come in the form of documents, past testimonies, etc. All in all, there has to be a tangible basis for the case to be revisited.
The condition has worsened:
In the case that the condition that caused you to file for the claim in the first place has worsened, you may reopen it. Nevertheless, there has to be tangible proof of a decline in your health and wellbeing since the claim was awarded. Even more, your depreciation has to be linked to the initial workplace injury or trauma used to file the claim.
In select cases, the compensation package allows room for future medical care. Then there is no need to revisit the claim as treatment can be continued once the original award is exhausted.
New conditions have developed:
With some conditions, there are hidden and seemingly unrelated facets that manifest over time. It could be psychological, like PTSD, or more tangible like a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, signs of these conditions are not noticeable for months after the initial injury. So, if a new condition arises or you develop a permanent disability, that is grounds to revisit the claim.
An error was detected:
In some cases, going over the proceedings is a good idea. Even the legal system is not above error. So, in the case that there was a legal or clerical error in the proceedings that resulted in unfavorable results, the claim can be reopened.
If any fraudulent acts are detected on either side, that is grounds for reopening the claim.
How Settlements May Affect Your Right to Reopen a Workers’ Comp Claim
For the most part, this is dependent on Arizona state laws and the terms of the original settlement. For instance, in Arizona, the law accommodates full and final settlements in specific workers’ compensation cases. As such, insurers and employers can reach a final closeout. Therefore, revisiting the claim is out of the question.
In the case that you accepted such terms, you forfeited the right to file any claims related to the injury in question. With this in mind, it is important to seek proper legal counsel. A certified lawyer will be able to properly before you accept a settlement.
Furthermore, some states offer up a stipulated period of time for claimants to reopen their workers’ compensation claims. Nevertheless, Arizona is not one of those states. As such, you are well within your rights to reopen your workers’ compensation claim at any time.
How to File a Petition to Reopen in Phoenix, Arizona
The procedure to reopen an old workers’ comp claim in Arizona is straightforward and predominantly evidence-based. For the most part, you will be required to submit medical records that prove the following:
- Ample evidence your medical condition has deteriorated and is related to the initial injury sustained in the workplace.
- Detailed information on how the medical condition has declined.
- An overview of additional medical treatment needed to alleviate the symptoms.
All of this information and any additional data requested should be presented in a report written by your doctor. There should also be medical records and any tangible proof of an aggravated condition. The key here is to ensure that you have enough proof to back up your decision to reopen your claim.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim
Arizona, like many US states, has laws that look out for employee welfare. Reopening an old workers’ compensation claim is a delicate issue. Especially, if a settlement was reached, there may not be much grounds to qualify you for an additional claim. Nevertheless, having the right legal counsel can make all the difference. Let us assist you as you explore your options to reopen your claim.
Our certified and qualified Phoenix injury lawyers are at your disposal. Not only will they work to give you the best results. They will equally offer guidance based on all the information present.