What to Do If Your Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, here are some things you can do to get it back on track.  

Appeal The Decision 

If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to appeal the decision. However, the rules governing how and when this can be done are highly technical. First, you must consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether an appeal is the best way forward. You will also need to understand the reasons why the insurance company denies your claim. Second, you should know that most states have administrative law panels and courts to appeal a workers’ compensation decision. If your first appeal fails, you can usually try a judicial appellate review, which happens when a court outside the workers’ compensation system examines an unfavorable decision by an administrative law judge. The process to appeal a workers’ compensation decision can take up to two to four months, depending on how complex the case is and the state in which you live. Because of the technicalities and strict time deadlines, it is important to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before filing any appeals. 

File A Lawsuit 

If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to receive compensation. However, you can only do this through a workers’ compensation claim. The best way to protect your rights as an injured worker is to report your injury as soon as possible. You should also keep in mind that your employer can deny your workers’ compensation claim if you caused the injury yourself. For example, if you came to work intoxicated or engaged in horseplay, your employer may dispute your claims. If you believe your claim was denied due to these or other reasons, you should contact a lawyer. An experienced workers’ comp attorney will know how to proceed and what steps to take to recover the compensation you deserve. 

File A Request For Informal Hearing 

If you have a workers’ compensation claim that has been denied, or if you are being offered inadequate benefits, one option to resolve the dispute is to request an informal hearing. This is a chance to discuss your case with a claims examiner, who can work out an agreement between you and the insurance company. The examiner will usually issue a recommendation for terms of compensation within 30 days of the conference. If you are not satisfied with the Informal Hearing, you can request a Formal Hearing. If a Formal Hearing is held, both you and the Insurance Company will appear before an Administrative Law Judge. You may choose to represent yourself (known as “pro se”) at this hearing, or you can retain an attorney. 

Contact An Attorney 

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, the most important thing may be to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, a workers’ compensation attorney will not charge you any up-front fees. They will collect evidence that bolsters your case, negotiate with the insurance company, or represent you in a hearing. There are a number of reasons that your claim may be denied, from incomplete information to disputes about your injury’s cause. These reasons can be tricky to overcome and require an attorney with knowledge of the workers’ compensation system to help you.