How Long Can a Workers’ Comp Claim Stay Open?


If you have suffered an injury at work, it’s always a good idea to file a Workers’ Comp claim. This way, medical services and wages can be paid even if you have to miss some time off work. Workers’ Compensation policies are put into place so that you can have medical care, wages, and ongoing care at least partially covered after a work injury. It also pays for funeral expenses in extreme cases.

Workers’ Compensation protects both the employer and the employee. Knowing the basics of claims and how to close and open claims is essential to both parties. Having a Virginia Workers’ Comp lawyer on your side will give you the advantage of knowledge.

The Basics of Opening a Claim

In most cases, you will have one year from the time of injury to open a claim and file for benefits. You have to notify the employer, though, within 30-45 days or you can lose the right to open a claim later on. 

In rare cases, claims stay open indefinitely to pay for all future medical bills and issues that might arise from the problem. However, most people’s recovery is shorter, and the claim closes so they can receive a finalized settlement, either in scheduled payments or as a lump sum of cash

Reopening a Claim

Perhaps you closed a claim and now you think you need to reopen it because of new evidence or a change in your condition. This sometimes happens when you need new medical treatment that relates to an old work injury. 

The time limit for reopening a claim will depend on Virginia state law. Judges can also change the award amount that you received if there is a good reason. You can also reopen your case if there is a discovery of a legal or factual mistake. You can also open a new claim if there was a petition that a judge denied. 

Change in Circumstances

If you have a Workers’ Comp claim, you might experience a change in circumstances, such as an employer who stops paying, a change in doctor, or being cleared to go back to work. If you experience any of these issues, you will need to fix the claim within 90 days in most cases. 

There may be a waiting period where you cannot change the claim. There is also a limit to the changes and reopenings you can make; usually, there are only two changes allowed. Your work comp attorney in Virginia can answer your questions and let you know about specific laws that apply to your case.

Call a Workers’ Comp Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

A Workers’ Comp claim isn’t always straightforward, especially if you have had a change in circumstances or a worsening of the original injury.   

Find out what your options are by talking with a lawyer at Pathfinder Injury Law. Call 804-505-0633 or fill out the contact form below to reach our firm.

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