Can I Re-open my Prior Worker’s Compensation Claim by Filing a Petition to Vacate?

Can I Re-open my Prior Worker’s Compensation Claim by Filing a Petition to Vacate?

I seem to get more and more injured workers that come to me following a settlement of their case questioning whether their Minnesota workers compensation case be reopened. Often times, it is a situation where circumstances, including their medical condition, has changed. Others are dissatisfied with how their case was handled or the monetary amount they received. Fortunately, the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law does allow for an injured employee to re-open, set aside, or vacate a prior agreement under limited circumstances.

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation allows a Stipulation to be open for “cause.” If the injured employee wishes to have the Stipulation set aside there must be sufficient evidence to prove that “cause” exists.

Under the law, “cause” exists under the following:

1. Mutual mistake of fact;
2. Newly discovered evidence;
3. The Award was based on fraud; or
4. There was a substantial change in medical condition since the time of the Award that was not clearly anticipated and couldn’t have been reasonably anticipated at the time of the Award.

Getting a prior Award or Stipulation for Settlement set aside is no easy task. It requires preparing and filing the appropriate documents with the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals to establish “cause.” It is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who has handled these types of cases so as to provide you the best opportunity, if cause exists, so that the Award or Stipulation can be vacated.

Our office has handled numerous cases of this type, and has been quite successful in getting Stipulation for Settlement and Awards vacated on behalf of our clients. If you are interested in discussing the possibility of having a prior Stipulation for Settlement or Award re-opened, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Thomas D. Mottaz at (763) 421-8226.

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