Dealing with the physical and emotional stress of a workplace injury is frustrating enough, but opening your mailbox to find a letter stating that your workers' comp claim has been denied can feel like a heavy blow. However, it's important to realize that a denial isn't the end of the road. You have options, and a workers' comp attorney can guide you through them. Here's what you need to know about moving forward with a workers comp claim after an initial denial:
First Steps After a Denial
The first thing to do is understand why your claim was denied. The letter you received should provide a reason. It could be due to a missed deadline, lack of medical evidence, or because the insurer believes your injury isn't work-related. Each of these situations requires a different approach.
Engaging a Workers' Comp Attorney
This is the stage where an experienced workers' comp attorney becomes invaluable. They can examine the denial letter, understand the reasoning, and advise you on the best course of action. If you were already working with an attorney, a denied claim is the time to reassess your strategy and determine the next steps.
The Appeals Process
In most cases, you have the right to appeal a denied workers' comp claim. The specific process can vary by state, but typically, you'll need to file an official appeal and then present your case at a hearing. This might sound daunting, but remember, your workers' comp attorney will be there to navigate these proceedings alongside you.
Your attorney will help you gather additional evidence, such as further medical records or witness statements, to support your appeal. They will also prepare you for the hearing, letting you know what questions to expect and how to present your case effectively.
Facing the Hearing
At the hearing, your attorney will present your case, highlighting the evidence and arguing why your claim should be approved. It's a critical part of the appeals process. Having an attorney who is experienced in these situations can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Once the hearing is over, you'll wait for the decision. If your appeal is successful, you'll start receiving your workers' comp benefits. If not, don't despair — there are often further steps you can take, such as appealing to a higher board or even going to court. Your attorney can advise you on these options.
For more information, contact a local workers' comp attorney.