When Will My Worker’s Compensation Case End?
This is a common question I get from my clients and can actually be a difficult question to answer. Some worker’s compensation cases are quick. For example, a person cuts part of their body while working, gets the necessary medical treatment, and heals quickly with minimal scarring and no damage to the underlying nerves and tissues. This person’s worker’s compensation case would “end” quickly, basically as soon as a doctor declared the person stationary with respect to the industrial injury.
However, what about a person who has a knee injury involving a torn meniscus? With this injury the compensation process could entail:
- The person gets the surgery for the torn meniscus and the case is closed.
- A few years later the person returns to his doctor with new symptoms to the same area and the doctor says the person now needs a total knee replacement.
- The person would then have the right to file a Petition to Reopen the claim and if it is denied by the insurance carrier, he or she can take the issue to an Administrative Law Judge at the Industrial Commission.
The point at which a worker’s compensation case ends really depends on the injured worker and their healing process, each case is different. In fact, the injured worker has a lifelong right to file a Petition to Reopen their industrial claim therefore technically the worker’s compensation case doesn’t end until death.