Can I Re-Open an Old Workers Compensation Claim?

by Jen
(Lakewood, Colorado)

I was pushed forward by a car and "hyper extended" my toe...or so the doctors told me. I had x-rays and spent a good month or two between doctors and physical therapy. All of this happened 3 years ago and was considered a workmans compensation claim.

My toe has bugged me since then off and on, more-so during the winter time (I think the cold weather makes it worse). It pops constantly and sharp pains make walking unbearable sometimes. I should mention that I don't have a car, so I'm constantly walking on it.

The company I worked for at the time of the injury has since been taken over by a new company (though the old company still exists). If I contacted the old company, would I be able to re-open that workman's comp claim to receive medical care for another check up? Or will I just have to do this myself?

Last time, the doctors just gave me a huge dose of aspirin, a shot to my joint (yes, inside the joint - I can't remember what it was called, but it numbed my toe for a good couple of days), and had me in therapy for weeks with exercises that, I think, made it worse (it didn't make it any better, anyway). I have insurance with this new company, but I'm hard on money and hoping that I could call the previous company.

I don't wish to file a lawsuit as when the injury happened I could have prevented it, not to mention I should have asked this question sooner. I would just like to know my options. Thanks!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I Re-Open an Old Workers Compensation Claim?":

Jen (Lakewood, Colorado):

In the State of Colorado, as in almost all states, there exists what is referred to as a “Statute of Limitations”. This is a legal term which means there is a limited amount of time within which a person can either settle an injury claim or file a lawsuit. After that period of time a person loses their right to sue. In most states, including the State of Colorado, the Statute of Limitations is 2 years.

It's even more strict when it comes to filing a Workmans Compensation Claim. In the State of Colorado the time for filing a claim is 90 days. Under special circumstance that time period can be extended up to one year.

Clearly the time limit for you to file a claim has passed. You can attempt to contact your former employer, or the company which bought out your former employer, and ask if they will compensate you for you injury. Realistically though, it's highly probable your claim will not be acknowledged or accepted.

If you believe there is any chance you might have filed a Workmans Compensation Claim when the injury occurred you might want to contact the new company and see if they carry the same Workmans Compensation Insurance as their predecessor. If so, you could contact the insurance company to see if they have any record of such a claim. It's a remote possibility your employer filed a claim on your behalf.

Regrettably your options are clearly limited to those we've set out above.

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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Knee injury...
by: John

I am currently on WC for a knee injury, torn acl, mcl, depression fracture, torn meniscus, and 3 cysts on pcl. I am in PT and being paid, however they are trying to get me back to work without surgery.

I can walk and exercise ok. My concerns are I am 60 yrs old and plan to retire in 5 yrs. If I re-injure myself during retirement am I still covered for medical expenses? My employee advocate says that I am covered for life.

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