Can You Reopen a Workers’ Comp Claim in Massachusetts?

There are multiple reasons that an injured employee may want to reopen their Workers’ Compensation claim. For example, a claimant who experiences a change in their medical condition may wish to reopen their claim in order to receive appropriate compensation. Further, the discovery of new evidence may prompt a claimant to reopen their claim in order to pursue continued benefits.

Thankfully, you are permitted to reopen a Workers’ Compensation claim in Massachusetts. The process will typically involve filing a petition, notifying other parties, and presenting your case before a judge.

If you need help with your claim, seek support from our experienced Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling (617) 925-6407.

Grounds for Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts

There are several situations that may constitute grounds for reopening a Workers’ Compensation claim in Massachusetts. During your free case review, our Workers’ Compensation attorneys can determine if any of the following apply to your case:

Change in Medical Condition

Reopening a Workers’ Compensation claim in Massachusetts because of a change in your medical condition is often prompted by a significant deterioration in your health. This could involve the worsening of your initial injury, the development of new complications related to the injury, or the discovery of previously unidentified medical issues arising from your accident. For instance, if you initially suffered a back injury that was deemed manageable but later experienced nerve damage that resulted in chronic pain and limited mobility, then you may have grounds to reopen your claim.

Recurrence of Symptoms

The recurrence of symptoms from your original work-related injury or illness can also justify reopening a claim. This could occur if you initially received treatment and returned to work, only to have the same symptoms resurface and impede your ability to perform your job duties effectively. Such a situation might require you to seek further medical evaluation and reopen your claim to ensure you receive the appropriate benefits.

Disputes Over Benefits

Reopening a claim to resolve disputes over benefits often arises when there is a disagreement between you and your employer’s insurance provider regarding the extent of benefits you are owed. This could include disagreements over the level of disability compensation, the duration of medical treatment coverage, or issues related to vocational rehabilitation services. Reopening the claim allows for a reassessment of these benefits and a potential resolution of the dispute.

New Evidence

The discovery of new evidence can be a compelling reason to seek the reopening of a Workers’ Compensation claim. This evidence might include previously undisclosed medical records, expert opinions, or other documentation that supports your case for continued benefits. For example, if a previously overlooked medical test reveals additional complications related to your work injury, then your claim may be reopened in order to address the new developments.

Is There a Time Limit for Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts?

The timeframe within which you can reopen a Workers’ Compensation claim varies depending on the specific circumstances and the type of benefits involved. Massachusetts law sets limitations on when a claim can be reopened, and these limitations can differ based on factors such as the nature of the injury, the type of benefits sought, and the date of the original claim’s closure. While reviewing your case, the team at our firm can help you understand these time limitations and evaluate whether your claim falls within the allowable period for reopening.

What is the Process for Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts?

There are multiple steps in the process for reopening a Workers’ Compensation claim in Massachusetts. Thankfully, our legal team is prepared to help navigate each of the following stages of your case:

Filing a Petition

The process of reopening a Workers’ Compensation claim begins with filing a formal petition with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). This petition should outline the reasons for seeking a reopening and provide supporting documentation, such as medical records, expert opinions, and any other relevant evidence.

Notification to Parties

Upon filing the petition, all relevant parties will be notified about your intent to reopen the claim. This typically includes your employer, their Workers’ Compensation insurance provider, and any other involved parties. Notification ensures that all parties are aware of the reopening process and have the opportunity to respond or present their own evidence.

Review and Decision

Afterwards, the DIA will conduct a thorough review of your petition and the accompanying evidence. A judge from the DIA will assess the merits of your case and determine whether reopening the claim is justified. The judge’s decision will be based on factors such as the validity of your grounds for reopening and the strength of the evidence you presented.

How Our Lawyers Can Help When Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts

Enlisting the services of our skilled Somerville Workers’ Compensation attorneys can be invaluable during the reopening process. Our legal teal can offer crucial guidance and support. Specifically, we can help you compile the necessary documentation, present a compelling case to the DIA, and advocate on your behalf before the judge. Accordingly, our advice and expertise can significantly enhance your chances of a successful claim reopening.

Preventing the Need for Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts

Taking proactive steps to prioritize your health and well-being can help prevent the need to reopen a workers’ compensation claim. Reporting work-related injuries promptly and accurately, seeking immediate medical attention, adhering to recommended treatment plans, and communicating openly with healthcare providers can all contribute to a smoother recovery process. By addressing your health needs early on, you can potentially reduce the risk of complications that might necessitate reopening a claim.

Is Reopening a Workers’ Compensation Claim Different from Filing an Appeal?

Yes, reopening a workers’ compensation claim and appealing one are distinct processes. Reopening involves revisiting a closed claim because of changes in medical condition, new evidence, or disputes. Appealing, on the other hand, is challenging a decision, often a denial, made by the workers’ compensation authority. Reopening focuses on reviewing existing claims, while appealing contests a decision’s accuracy or fairness. Both processes may require legal guidance to navigate effectively.

Call Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Help with Your Claim in Massachusetts

Seek guidance from our experienced Boston Workers’ Compensation attorneys by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.