Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits? Here’s What You Should Know About The Appeals Process

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you assume your employer will pay you the compensation you deserve. However, this rarely happens. In fact, most workers’ compensation claims are denied. While some workers leave it at that, others who feel they should receive workers compensation benefits pursue the appeals process. However, since this is very complex and confusing, don’t trust just any lawyer to handle your appeal. Instead, hire an experienced and knowledgeable workers compensation lawyer.

Why Was the Appeal Denied?
Unfortunately, there are about as many reasons why claims are denied as there are reasons for claims being filed. In many cases, claims are denied due to the workers’ compensation judge limiting the evidence you could present for your case. In other situations, the employer may have witnesses who provide false statements or testimony about the circumstances surrounding your accident. Whatever the case may be, always work with an attorney skilled in these cases, since there are always strict time deadlines for filing appeals, as well as other rules that must be followed.

Workers’ Comp Court of Appeals
If you choose to appeal your initial ruling of denial, you and your attorney will appear before a workers’ compensation court of appeals. An administrative law panel, it will be similar to your initial hearing, in that it will be similar to a normal court hearing. During these proceedings, your workers compensation lawyer will present evidence to the appeals court as to why the initial verdict should be overturned. This can include new information about the accident, new testimony from witnesses, or other evidence.

Formal Requirements
When filing a workers’ compensation appeal, it’s vital you and your lawyer know exactly what is involved in the process. Like traditional court hearings, there are numerous formal requirements that must be met along the way. Some of the most common include meeting deadlines for filing paperwork, making sure the correct people receive copies of the appeal, making sure the correct documents are submitted, and even making sure the paperwork has the correct appearance. While this may sound like overkill, just one small mistake can derail your appeal before it even gets started.

Don’t Expect a Quick Verdict
Once you begin the appeals process for workers’ compensation, don’t expect a quick resolution to your case. In most instances, it can take weeks or months for these cases to run the gamut of appeals options. For example, if your initial claim is denied, you can not only go before a court of appeals, but also possibly a judicial appellate court, all of which can take a prolonged period of time to render a decision.

Hire the Best
Since trying to obtain workers compensation benefits is arguably one of the most difficult and complex legal processes, always hire the best workers compensation lawyer you can to handle your case. In doing so, you will have legal counsel who has a track record of success in these cases, and will be by your side from start to finish.