Know what your reopening rights are for your particular claim
Only injured workers who received a permanent partial disability award (PPD), or who received temporary total disability benefits while off work for their injury, have lifetime rights to reopen a Nevada claim. Injured workers with minor injuries requiring only one or two visits to the doctor do not have any reopening rights. Injured workers with more serious injuries, but who did not lose time from work, or who did not get a PPD award, must reopen within a year of the date the claim was closed.
Attach a report from a doctor to your reopening request
Before you ask to reopen your claim, you must go to a doctor, and get a report from that doctor that states that your injury has worsened, and that you need more medical care. Do not request reopening without attaching a doctor's report. It helps if the doctor has a copy of your old medical records so that he can discuss how your injury has worsened. The doctor must recommend specific treatment as opposed to simply stating that he wants a new MRI or x-rays before he can say whether you need more treatment.
Be prepared to fight for reopening
Insurers do not like to reopen closed claims. The law makes it harder to reopen a closed claim if you receive a PPD award and a few months later ask for more medical care. Don't bother trying to reopen unless you need another surgical procedure or unless your injury has seriously worsened and you are unable to work again. Expect to have to file appeals and obtain the help of an attorney.
Additional resources provided by the author
Updated information on Nevada law at www.nevadaworkerscompensationlaw.com.
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