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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    2

    Default Old Never Settled Worker's Comp Case

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: California
    My husband was injured on the job around 1980. He was hospitalized approx. 16 days, had surgery, rehab and returned to work about 6 months after the accident.

    We received a call a few years ago from a claims adjuster from WC advising that his case had never been settled and some records had been lost. At the time he returned to work, he was rated with around 27% disability and apparently offered around $7000 that he didn't take. My husband and I weren't married then but for some reason, the case was never settled and he never accepted money or signed papers. He doesn't know why it wasn't settled but I suspect he may have hesitated out of concern he might not be able to work.

    At age 50, my husband had to take disability retirement due to ongoing problems from the injuries. He had a surgery the year or so before he took disability retirement but it didn't help so he took an early retirement based on 100% disability related to the injuries from the accident and also began receiving SSDI benefits.

    The claims adjuster sent forms for my husband to sign to release records from Social Security, which he returned registered/return receipt. Several years have passed and we haven't heard anything from State Fund. We've called and sent registered letters but cannot get a response.

    I realize he will need an attorney but we'd like to have some understanding about how settling an old case works. Would he still be able to settle with WC this long after? One of his papers says something about WC recognizes some injuries can cause further problems years later, which is what happened to my husband and he became unable to work at all. He was given 100% future medical and they did pay for the surgery he had about 20 years after the original accident.

    We would appreciate any insight anyone might have regarding this. If you need additional information, we'll try to provide. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,046

    Default Re: Old Never Settled Worker's Comp Case

    DaisyGirl
    we'd like to have some understanding about how settling an old case works.
    Would he still be able to settle with WC this long after?
    No, unless he's received medical treatment paid by the employer within the last two years, you guys are way past the statute of limitations.

    Time Limits for Filing Claims
    There is a two year statute of limitations that applies to workers' compensation cases. A formal claim petition must be filed within two years of the date of injury or the date of last payment of compensation, whichever is later.
    Medical treatment authorized by the employer is considered a payment of compensation.
    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/...ndex.html#time

    You may be able to re- open if he has a consequential injury that is part of the original industrial injury. (compensable consequence)

    Nevertheless, when one of the following statutes does apply and the time deadline has been missed for some reason, there is often very little a judge can do, except apply the law to facts. The result? The injured worker may be barred from benefits for which he or she may otherwise have been entitled to receive.
    Comp Benefits: Lab. Code, 5405 [LC 5405] – 1 year from date of injury (DOI) or last benefit
    Death Benefit: Lab. Code, 5406 [LC 5406] – 1 year from date of death (DOD) or last benefit
    New & Further Disability: Lab. Code, 5410 [LC 5410] – 5 years from DOI
    Change of Award: Lab. Code, 5804 [LC 5804] – 5 years from DOI

    However, several Noteworthy Panel Decisions (NPDs) have issued recently, whereby the WCAB has relied on prior case law to hold in favor of the injured worker, despite alleged violations of a statute of limitations. The findings in each case summarized below are directly in line with the philosophy set forth in the 4th DCA case of Blanchard, supra.
    I. Tolling of Statute When Defendant Fails to Provide Notices - Hartman v. Town of Scotia Company, 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 348 [2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 348]
    III. Compensable Consequences Not Barred - Crossley v. Federal Express; Sedgwick, 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 342 [2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 342]
    https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnews...pensation.aspx

    Consult an attorney, have him look at the facts of your case and see if you can re-open, from what you've posted, it doesn't look good.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Old Never Settled Worker's Comp Case

    I was injured in 2016 and never settled my claim. I can't and could not return to my former job as a carpenter/laborer and now had to apply for SSDI. The judge denied me any benefits last year. Can i reopen my claim and seek my deserved bennifits and how long do i have to open it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,046

    Default Re: Old Never Settled Worker's Comp Case

    Quote Quoting Antwan Culberson View Post
    I was injured in 2016 and never settled my claim. I can't and could not return to my former job as a carpenter/laborer and now had to apply for SSDI. The judge denied me any benefits last year. Can i reopen my claim and seek my deserved bennifits and how long do i have to open it?
    You'll have to appeal the denial - if you haven't expired the statute of limitations.
    You'll have to search for a lawyer who will take the case - Unless your case has merits you may find that impossible to do, especially after you waited a year.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

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