Have You Had A Change In Condition In Your Workers' Compensation Case?


If you sustain an injury or job-related illness, your employer's workers' compensation insurer will provide medical treatment for your condition. Once you complete this treatment and accept a settlement, you may think there is nothing else to do. But you may not realize that you may have additional time to prove you have had a change in your condition. What is a change in condition, and how do you prove it? Here is some information to assist you.

How Do You Arrive At A Change In Condition? 

Before defining a change in condition, you must understand the various components of your workers' compensation case. If your injury requires extensive treatment, recovery, and physical therapy, you will reach a point where your physician issues several proclamations. They will often offer the following:

  • A diagnosis of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
  • A Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rating
  • Permanent work restrictions
  • A release from future treatment

Your doctor may also advise you to return if needed. After all of this is said and done, the insurance company will usually compile and extend you a compensation offer based on the above information from your doctor. 

Many workers think that once they accept this offer, their case is complete, and they can never go back and claim additional medical treatment or compensation. But this is only sometimes true. Several states allow specific time frames in which you can ask the workers' compensation judge to change your previous award for particular reasons. A change in your condition is one of these reasons. 

What Is A Change In Condition?

A change in your condition is usually an unforeseen worsening of the condition. It could also be additional previously unknown medical information, indicating your disability is much worse than initially presented. You may discover this change due to worsening symptoms, further medical testing, or an increasing inability to perform your job functions.

How Do You Prove A Change In Your Condition?

A claim of a change of condition must be documented in your medical records when you request the court to revisit their previous order. You must prove that you have experienced a substantial worsening of your condition that you could not have previously foreseen. 

Your demonstration could include a potential increased partial disability rating from your workers' compensation doctor or increased work restrictions. If your workers' compensation attorney can prove your claim, you may be eligible for additional weeks of wage replacement or other disability benefits. 

Consult a workers' compensation lawyer to find out more.


13 February 2023

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