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My Work Injury Progressed After I Received My Workers’ Compensation Settlement — What Are My Options?


A workers’ compensation settlement provides an injury victim with payment for their medical bills and lost wages, as well as resources to cover anticipated future expenses. Once a workers’ compensation claim has been settled, the injured employee may find that the finances provided by their settlement are not sufficient, especially when an injury progresses.

If you have received a workers’ compensation settlement and your injury has gotten worse since then, you may be feeling lost and confused about what you can do. Settling your claim does not necessarily mean you can no longer recover compensation for your injuries. It may be possible to reopen your case after a settlement and receive additional workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements

The terms of every workers’ compensation claim settlement are different, but they generally fall into one of two categories: “Compromise and release” settlements and “stipulated finding and award” settlements.

In compromise and release settlements, claimants agree that the settlement will be their final source of compensation for their injury. Any additional treatment that is needed will not be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company under these terms.

Stipulated finding and award settlements can be reopened. You may be able to recover additional benefits if your workers’ compensation case was settled in this way.

How to Receive Additional Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In cases of stipulated finding and award settlements, it may be possible to renegotiate the terms of your claim agreement and extend the timeline of your benefits. Your case will need to be opened again, and you will need to negotiate with your employer and their insurance company about expanding your benefits. Once again, you will need to present your claim and establish the link between your injuries and your job responsibilities.

If you settled your case as a compromise and release agreement, you will not be able to renegotiate those terms. You may be able to open another case if you sustained an additional injury, rather than your original injury progression.

Your ability to recover additional workers’ compensation benefits will depend on the details of your case. Contact Smolich and Smolich for answers to all of your workers’ compensation questions. Our lawyers are available to assist with your case.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (916) 571-0400.