After a discectomy, foraminotomy, laminectomy or spinal fusion can I re-open the workers’ compensation settlement?
Question: After a settlement agreement can my workers’ compensation claim be re-opened?
Question Detail: I was injured on the job and had a “disterectomy” [he probably meant ‘discectomy, hopefully he didn't undergo a hysterectomy... or would that be a his-terectomy?’] in April 2011 and in August of 2011, the Work Comp offered to settle my claim, in which I accepted their settlement. I started having problems again with the same injury in 2013 and had to have another disterectomy (this sounds painful for a guy to undergo) in April of 2013, The Neurosurgeon advised me that it was probably from the same injury. Needing to know if Work Comp is responsible for the medical and need to reopen the claim. Don't want to charge the wrong insurance company if Work Comp ins. is responsible.
Answer: Without knowing more about the terms of settlement there is no way to answer your question. The terms of the settlement can leave the medical open or can close out the claim all together. In theory, for the one you should be paid more because you assume the risk of paying for future medical care.
Did you have an attorney at the time of settlement? If so call him/her to obtain a copy of the settlement documents. Then sit down with an Iowa workers’ compensation lawyer to see if you a sufficient basis to file a review-reopening. These are not easy cases to plead or to prove. It is possible that you do have an open claim and it's possible you don't, but the first step is understanding how you settled the previous case. Did you close it all out or just agree to settle the claim while preserving the right to future benefits.
There is THE QUESTION and it contains your answer.
What is a discectomy? Healthgrades has a really pretty nice article.
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