1. First make sure that you are entitled to reopen your claim.
    • If you were out of work and you received a permanent partial disability award on your claim, you have a lifetime right to reopen your claim. It is easier if you ask for reopening after your claim has been closed for a year. NRS 616C.390. Insurers don't want to reopen claims right after they've paid you an award.
    • If you had a minor injury involving medical expenses under $300, you may not reopen your claim, assuming the insurer properly informed you of your rights. NRS 616C.235(2), NRS 616C.390(9).
    • If you had medical expenses over $300, but you did not lose time from work, and you did not get a permanent partial disability award, then you may only request to reopen your claim within 1 year of the date it was closed.
  2. If you are entitled to reopen your claim, do the following:
    • Get a medical report from your doctor that says that your injury has gotten worse since your claim was closed, and that you need more medical care. You must pay for this doctor visit to get a report, but you can get reimbursed if your claim is reopened. Your doctor's report must be clear that the reason you need more medical care now is primarily due to the work accident, and not due to the aging process or a worsened pre-existing degenerative condition. If the doctor's report says only that you have more pain now, or that the doctor needs a MRI before he can recommend treatment, your reopening request will probably be denied. Bring a copy of your PPD evaluation to the doctor so that he can easily compare your condition now with what it was when your claim was closed. Most reopening requests are denied because the medical report does not discuss in sufficient detail how the injury has gotten worse.
    • Attach a copy of your doctor's report to a letter to the insurer and request that your claim be reopened. Make sure to put your claim number on the letter.
  3. If your reopening request is denied, file an appeal and get more reporting from your doctor that supports your request. If you don't appeal, or you lose your appeal, you can't request reopening again for another year. NRS 616C.390(3).
  4. You may request reopening for vocational rehabilitation services if you did not accept a vocational rehabilitation lump sum buy-out, or did not voluntarily retire.

The reopening laws are changed by the legislature frequently, and new laws can be applied to old claims.

 

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