You decide whether you want to re-open a claim or initiate a new one, not the ins. company. However, it is up to your doctor to tell you whether the current back injury is the natural progression of the original injury 7 years ago or whether additional work activities you have performed since then may have contributed to the injury, or a combination of both. As long as you pursue a claim within 12 years from the date of injury or last payment to you for an injury, whichever is later, the claim remains active.
Given the time that has passed from the original injury, the ins. carrier for that injury is likely to dispute the claim. You may want to consult with an attorney before proceeding. All attorneys who work in the area of worker's compensation claims, do so on a contingent fee basis as mandated by State law. Good luck.
Your current condition may be related your prior injury, but you would need a doctor to provide an opinion that there is a connection between your back injury 7 years ago and your 2 disc herniations. It could be that your work following your injury has contributed to your back condition in a material way. If so, you would have an occupational back claim.
You should talk to your doctor and ask for an opinion as to whether your current back condition is related to your old injury or your work in general since your injury.
Medical causation would need to be proven. This requires a doctor's testimony.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
In order for you to make a worker's compensation claim based on the injury from many years ago, your doctor would need to sign a WKC-16-B report -- a required State form -- stating his or her opinion that your current back condition is the result of that work injury. Ideally, the doctor would have reviewed all of the older medical records, including MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, etc., and then the current diagnostic test results, before offering that opinion.
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