For many workers, especially those with physically demanding jobs, having a workers’ compensation claim denied can feel like game over. While it is never good news to have one’s claim denied, there may still be options.
BUT you must act quickly!
It is also vital that you consider who is helping to represent you in your claim. Not all workers’ compensation claims are created equal – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you have already had a claim denied, you must choose your next steps carefully, including ideally choosing an attorney who has built a practice on attention to personal injuries, not some assembly-line-style lawyer who is mostly concerned with numbers over personal service.
Identify the ‘when’ and the ‘why’ and go from there
If you’ve just had a claim denied, your best source of information for your immediate next step is your denial letter. While they are not all exactly the same, they usually have the basic information you need to know for your next steps.
First, look to see how long you have to appeal your claim. This may be a very short window of time, such as 30 days or less.
Second, identify why your claim was denied. Your denial letter should specify this clearly.
A claim might be denied for many reasons
The reason your claim was denied can generally be broken down into two categories, either causal or technical.
Causal claim denials may include:
- Your employer disputed your claim.
- Your claim is deemed noncompensable.
- Proper medical treatment was not sought or received.
- There is no evidence the injury is work-related.
Similarly, technical claim denials may include:
- Failing to report your injury in time
- Failing to make a claim in time
- Something in the claim itself being misfiled or mishandled
Now that you know why your claim was denied, it’s time to get to work.
Choosing the right representation is vital
Especially if you have already had your claim denied, you must be careful about whom you choose to represent your claim. Many law firms make great promises about using their size and clout to get you the settlement you deserve, but anyone can make those claims.
While your time is precious, it is worth spending some of it to do the research to find an attorney who is dedicated to personal service and has built his or her firm on it.
It is important that your claim be handled by an attorney if at all possible. While this is understandably a trying time, don’t allow the pressure of the situation to compromise how you build a team to help you overturn an unfairly life-altering decision.
With the assistance of an empathetic, personally invested attorney, you can put together a plan to appeal your workers’ compensation claim and move forward with the comfort of knowing that you are in good hands. Qualified legal counsel can not only help you navigate this difficult and time-sensitive situation, but it can also ensure that your rights remain protected while fighting for the best and fairest possible settlement for your injury.