Dealing With Old Workplace Injuries: Legal Options and Compensation

By Jon Lewis on Feb 15 in Lewis & Feldman Blog.

What to Do When You Have Been Injured at Work

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cites data showing that 33,500 people were hurt while on the job in Alabama in 2022 alone. While most injured workers are able to make a full recovery and return to their jobs, that is unfortunately not always the case. This raises an important question: What are your options if you are still dealing with an old workplace injury? The answer depends on several different factors—though you may be able to reopen your workers’ comp claim in certain circumstances. Here, our Birmingham workers’ compensation attorney provides a comprehensive overview of your options for dealing with an old workplace injury in Alabama. 

When Can You Reopen a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Alabama?

It is possible to reopen a workers’ compensation claim in Alabama, but only under very specific and relatively narrow circumstances. For this reason, you should always work with a top attorney when navigating an initial workers’ comp claim after a serious job-related accident. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are properly protected and you are in the best position to get compensation if additional needs arise in the future. In Alabama, you could qualify to reopen your claim if: 

  • You did not agree to a full and final settlement of your case, and you are still within two years of the date of your last workers’ comp payment; 
  • You suffered a serious, adverse change in your medical condition that could not anticipated at the time of the claim/settlement, and you are still within two years of the date of your last payment; or
  • Your employer or the insurance company engaged in fraud, material misrepresentations, or some other form of bad faith conduct. 

Tip: Never assume that you do not qualify to reopen a workers’ compensation claim in Alabama. While not every injured worker can reopen their claim, these are complicated, fact-specific cases. Set up a free consultation with an experienced Alabama work injury attorney. 

Exploring Every Option for Compensation for an Aggravated Work Injury

What if you cannot reopen a workers’ compensation claim in Alabama? Are you out of options to get compensation for an old workplace injury? No. There are a number of other avenues for recovery that might be available in your case. A top-tier Birmingham workplace accident lawyer will help you evaluate every option so that you are in the best possible position to secure the absolute maximum financial compensation, including for things like medical bills and lost wages. Here are some other potential avenues for financial recovery for an old workplace injury in Alabama: 

  • You May Have a New Workers’ Comp Claim: First and foremost, you should consider whether or not you can start the workers’ compensation claim process from the beginning. You are not restricted to one claim over the course of your employment. If your original workers’ compensation claim cannot be reopened, you might be eligible to file a new claim if your existing work injury has been aggravated while in the workplace. To be clear, this could be an option even if the aggravation is related to a different employer or arises outside of your original employment, as long as the aggravation is work-related. If this occurs, your claim may be handled as a new injury. Be sure to report it to your employer right away. 
  • You May Have a Fault-Based Personal Injury Claim: In cases where a non-employer (such as a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, motorist, or any other party) contributed to your accident through negligence, you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. For example, imagine that you have an old workplace-related back injury. The injury was seriously aggravated years later in a rear-end collision. You may be able to hold the at-fault driver legally liable for the full extent of your damages. That you aggravated an existing injury does not prevent you from bringing a claim. An Alabama personal injury lawyer can help you secure the maximum financial compensation. 
  • You May Have a Claim for Disability Benefits: If you have no viable option to reopen your workers’ comp claim, file a workers’ comp claim, or bring a personal injury claim, you may still have the ability to get financial benefits through a disability claim—either a private disability claim or a Social Security Disability Insurance claim (SSDI). If your work-related injury has led to a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for disability benefits. A personal injury lawyer in Alabama can help you understand your rights and your options to get disability benefits. 

Old Work Injury Claims are Especially Complex: You Need a Lawyer

Work injury claims are complicated—especially so when you are dealing with the long-term effects of and/or aggravation of an old injury. You cannot rely on your employer or any insurance company to protect your best interests. They put their own bottom line above what is best for you and your family. At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, we are committed to putting the rights and the interests of injured workers first. When you reach out to our Birmingham office, you will have an opportunity to consult with an Alabama work injury lawyer who can: 

  • Listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain the next options;
  • Investigate your old work injury claim—gathering relevant evidence; 
  • Gather and organize all of your medical records; 
  • Handle the settlement negotiation with employers/insurance companies; and
  • Take aggressive action to help you secure the maximum financial compensation.  

Schedule a Free Case Review With a Top-Tier Birmingham Work Injury Attorney Today

At Lewis & Feldman, LLC, our Alabama workers’ comp lawyer is standing by, ready to protect your rights and interests. If you or your loved one has an old work-related injury that is still causing problems, we are here to help. Call us now at 205-896-6410 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation case review. From our Birmingham office, we handle work-related injury cases throughout the region, including in Jefferson County, Shelby County, and Blount County. 

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