Yes, you should consult with a workers compensation attorney. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo to find attorneys in your area to consult with.... Best of luck to you...
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Yes you should talk to a workers comp atty. we do not charge for the initial consultation. You can use the find a lawyer feature here
If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Connell is a Colorado attorney licensed in only that state. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.
My first advice is the same as Mr. Hirsch and Mr. Connell, meet with a Workers' Compensation attorney. Additionally, California has a five year Statute of Limitation on filing a Petition to Reopen (see WCAB link below). With that said, meet with that attorney quickly.
Good luck with the rest of your case.
I strongly recommend hiring a competent workers' compensation attorney. There are statutes of limitations that bar the re-opening of cases for new and further disability within 5 years of the initial Award, that all workers' compensation attorneys are familiar with. Going at it pro per can put you at a great disadvantage when you don't know how to access the correct statutes or case law. Even though the Labor Code mandates that the law be construed in favor of the Applicant, the workers' comp judges (WCJ) must treat you as having the same level of education, skill and training as a practicing attorney, and if you file a pleading after the statute of limitations runs, they have no choice but to rule against you. The WCJ is going to tell you the same thing: hire an attorney. If you don't want to hire an attorney, the Information & Assistance desk at any WCAB can walk you through most of the procedural stuff. But they cannot give legal advice. So the best route would be to hire one. Most workers' comp applicants' attorneys only take 10-15% of the award, unlike most civil attorneys, who sometimes take 30-50% of the award.