Can a Workers Comp Case Be Reopened in North Carolina?
Every time an employee is injured and begins collecting workers compensation benefits, at some point, their case will be closed. Generally speaking, this is done when your condition stabilizes and you no longer require workers comp benefits.
There are cases, though, where an employee settles their case out of necessity and later may need to reopen their case so that they can continue receiving additional benefits, including medical care, disability benefits, and/or vocational training.
North Carolina law does allow for claimants in these circumstances to reopen their workers comp case. Read on to learn more about why you might need to settle your claim before your injury has healed and how to go about reopening your case.
Why You Might Settle Your NC Workers Comp Claim
There are a number of reasons why you might want to settle your workers comp claim. Perhaps you need access to your benefits in one lump sum, or maybe you have been given an impairment rating that seems fair and reasonable, so you move forward with the settlement to close your case. However, be aware that only in certain circumstances will you be able to reopen your case.
For example, more often than not, if you enter into what’s known as a clincher settlement, you’ll be forfeiting your right to reopen your case, even if you wind up needing benefits in the future. Other times, a Form 21 or Form 26 settlement will allow you to reopen your case within two years of the date of the last benefit you receive if your condition worsens and you require further benefits.
Reopening Your Workman’s Comp Claim
In order to reopen your case, you should first enlist the help of your North Carolina attorney. This will help to ensure that the insurance company doesn’t try to take advantage of you. Then, you’ll file a petition with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) to reopen your case.
At this time you should be prepared to provide the insurance company and the NCIC with the medical documentation necessary to support your need for continued workers comp benefits. If you have specific questions about reopening your case, get in touch with an experienced workers comp lawyer.
Consult with a Qualified North Carolina Workers Comp Lawyer
If you are interested in reopening a workers comp case that has previously been settled, get help from a highly trained North Carolina workers comp lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, P.A. Our firm will work diligently to help you get the benefits you’re entitled to. You can schedule your free consultation today by calling our office directly at 252-752-7785 or by filling out the quick contact form we’ve included below.