If you sustained an injury at your Kentucky place of employment, you may have filed for and received workers' compensation. After you begin to receive your benefits, you may assume the workers' comp board has closed your case that there is no risk for further dispute. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Even after the workers' comp board closes your case, certain circumstances may arise which may require reopening the claim. FindLaw explores those circumstances more in depth.
There are five major reasons the workers' comp board may agree to reopen a case: the injured party experienced a change in medical condition; the board discovered a mistake or error in the claim; the insurer overpaid the injured party; the injured party committed fraud; or a mutual mistake of material fact exists. While it is common for injured parties to reopen cases for changes in medical condition, insurers may reopen a case for any of the other four reasons.
When the workers' comp board closes a claim by offering a "full and final settlement," it generally stipulates that both parties are prohibited from reopening the case. However, there are two instances the board allows either party to re-explore the claim: if evidence of fraud exists or if there was a mutual mistake of material fact. If either party can provide evidence of the existence of either of these two grounds, an administrative judge may agree to reopen a closed workers' compensation claim case.
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