Can I get coverage for worsening injuries after quitting my previous job?

by Chelsea
(Cheyenne, WY)

I started having pain in both of my wrists that would radiate up to my shoulders. The workers' comp doctor diagnosed me with bilateral carpal tunnel. I went through therapy for several months, and while the symptoms weakened they never went away.

In January 2014, I ended up quitting my job because of the pain and inability to use my hands as needed (the doctor said my symptoms would never go away and if I couldn't handle it anymore I would need to find a new profession, so I became a stay at home mother). Now my symptoms are worse then ever, even without using the computer like I use to.

What do I do now? Can I go back to the employer for further treatment? It has gotten so bad I have a hard time with normal day-to-day activities such as opening jars, brushing my hair, and tying my shoes. I also have hand spasms which I didn't have at the time. Is there any way to get coverage for treating my injuries that have worsened? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I get coverage for worsening injuries after quitting my previous job?":

Chelsea (Cheyenne, WY):

You can certainly go back to your former employer and request continuing medical and therapeutic care for your bilateral carpal tunnel. As long as you did not sign a release signifying your treatment was ended, and your treating physician did not release you from further treatment, you may have a chance to be covered for the additional medical and/or therapeutic treatment you require.

Contact the adjuster who administered your initial claim. Let the adjuster know you are continuing to experience pain from the work-related injury and require treatment. If your claim was not previously closed out, ask the adjuster to send you to a company-approved physician.

In the event the adjuster refuses to reopen or continue your claim, you'll need to contact a workers' compensation attorney. Most will not charge you for an initial office consultation. Bring copies of your employment records and medical records.

Once you visit with an attorney, and the attorney has had a chance to review your records, he or she will let you know if you have a viable claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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