Q. I have an old worker’s comp case. I no longer work for the company. Can I go back for treatment or settle my case?
A. Technically, yes. If you have not closed your case, your workers’ compensation claim remains open your entire life. It does not matter if you don’t work for the company anymore or even if the company is still in existence. The insurance company is the entity that you deal with, not the employer. Now while you can always seek more treatment, it doesn’t mean that the insurance company is going to approve it. They will want to know information about you from the last time your worker’s comp case was active. Information they will likely request will include what work you have been doing, if you have been involved in any other accidents or suffered any other injuries. They may also want updated medical records. If the cause of your current complaints is not clear after reviewing the records, a statement from your doctor connecting your current symptoms to your work injury may be necessary. If, after all of this your request for further medical treatment is still not approved, you may request a hearing for a commissioner to make a recommendation on the matter. As for settling your case, the opportunity exists as you have an open case. However, the insurance company has to also want to settle and you and the representative will have to agree on a figure. Insurance companies usually indicate an interest in settling. However, the amount they are willing to pay and the amount you are willing to accept will determine if your case actually settles.
This question has been asked with increasing frequency lately as people are looking for any extra money they can get during these tough economic times. An unsettled workers’ compensation case is a resource for additional funds and should be explored. A consultation with our office will help you determine if settlement would be a good option for you and what your case may be worth.