Can I reopen a claim at a previous job?
(Barboursville, WV , USA)
I filed a workers comp claim against my employer. They honored my bills and lost pay. I went to a doctor and he put me off work for a few weeks. I wanted a disability settlement that they would not offer. They sent me to one of their doctors and he examined me and ordered an MRI. After the MRI I was told that they could not find any damage to my neck and back.
The medical team recommended that I find out if the company I worked for had any limited duty for me. They did and I went back for a day and did not like the job they had found for me. So I called and quit my job. When the workers comp provider found out that I had quit my job they said that they would not provide me with my original payment.
I realized I had made a mistake and asked to be rehired. The company told me that they no longer had a position for me. So I called them for over 2 months asking them to rehire me, and I got the same answer, NO!
So I went to work for another company doing the same job that I had done previously at my other job. I really did not like the hours or the way they ran their business and I did not want to continue working there. I felt terrible and my old injury was starting to cause me the same problem, so I went and called my old company's Workers Comp people. I told them I needed to reopen my old claim against my former employer.
My question is, are they obligated to reopen my previous claim and pay me for not working there? Also, were they allowed to cease my workers comp pay when I quit the job they gave me after my injury? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Can I reopen a claim at a previous job?":
Mark (Barboursville, WV , USA):
No. Your former employer is not under a legal duty to reopen your workers compensation claim. You may have a right to require the original workers compensation insurance company to finalize your injury claim and pay any amount you deserved under the claim itself.
Contact the original workers compensation insurance company representative. You have a right to whatever compensation was due for the injury you sustained while on the job where the injury occurred. This is the case even if you later left your employer.
If you aren't able to convince the workers comp insurance representative to reopen your injury claim you can contact a local workers comp attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.
Bring along with you to the appointment copies of your medical bills, and all paperwork related to your original workers compensation claim. Once an attorney has had a chance to review your records he or she will be able to let you know if your claim has merit.
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,
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