When To Reopen A Workers’ Comp Claim
Workers’ compensation is an important benefit system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In fact, around the country workers’ comp protects workers who are injured on the job. Under this system, workers who are injured while performing their job duties are eligible for benefits that provide essential support to many harmed workers.
But it is important to recognize that not every work-related injury or illness is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. There are set rules on how to open a workers’ comp claim, when a claim can be reopened, and if it is more appropriate to seek financial recovery through a personal injury claim instead. A Bucks County personal injury attorney will carefully listen to you and share with you possible paths to compensation.
Qualifying for Workers’ Comp and Reopening Claims
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers who are injured on the job or who develop a work-related illness. These benefits are typically available regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness, meaning that even if the worker’s own actions contributed to the injury, they may still be able to access benefits.
But in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, it must be clear that the injury or illness occurred while the worker was performing their job duties. This means that injuries or illnesses sustained outside of work or that occurred during non-work-related activities are not covered. Additionally, injuries that are the result of intentional self-harm or drug or alcohol use are not eligible for benefits.
Filing a claim as soon as possible is critical. Then, benefits can be processed. In some situations, a closed claim needs to be reopened. This can happen if an injured employee’s condition worsens or if they develop new symptoms. Reopening a claim relies on documentation, there needs to be medical evidence of the new or worsening condition.
When It’s Appropriate to File a PA Injury Claim
While workers’ compensation benefits provide financial support for injured workers, they may not always be sufficient to cover all of the costs associated with a workplace injury or illness. In some cases, it is more appropriate to seek financial recovery through a personal injury claim rather than through workers’ comp benefits.
Of course, there needs to be standing for a personal injury claim. A Bucks County personal injury attorney can determine if an injury claim could be an option, such as if there is a defective equipment producer or a negligent contractor who could be held accountable. If this reckless party contributed to the harm to the worker, additional compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, which are not covered under workers’ compensation, may be accessed.
Have you sustained a work injury? Workers’ compensation benefits could bring some relief, but you also may need to reopen a comp claim if your condition worsens. Or, discuss the possibility of a personal injury claim with an attorney if there was negligence. Discuss what is possible with the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Call 215-968-6602 today.