Being injured on the job is bad enough without receiving a denial letter from your workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, denials are commonplace in many compensation programs. Fortunately, many disclaimers are only due to a clerical error and can often be resolved quickly without the need for an attorney. However, when the reason for the denial is something other than paperwork, it is usually a good idea to seek representation before moving any further with the claim. Therefore, to help you make decisions after receiving a denial letter, follow these three steps.
1. Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Representative
Again, one of the most common issues is a clerical error. Therefore, if you receive a denial letter, the first thing you should do is contact the department managing your claim, which might be your employer or their workers’ compensation insurer. By contacting those people who created the letter, you can find out specifics regarding your rejection. Often, denials occur because something wasn’t filled out correctly. However, if you find out you were denied for any other reason, then you can move forward to step two or file an appeal.
2. Contact an Attorney and File an Appeal
While you can represent yourself throughout an appeals process, you are better served by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. These cases are often complicated with significant knowledge of legal proceedings being required to navigate your case without costly errors. Also, there might be multiple levels of appeals, and it is easier to comprehend and move through these levels with someone who understands the process.
3. Get Organized
Finally, after hiring an attorney for your appeal, be sure to get organized. As the appeals process is more involved than your original filing, you will need to present significantly more evidence to support your claim. Therefore, you will need to have thorough records, including any medical records and bills related to the work incident that led to your injuries. You will also need to gather any factual evidence that pertains to the event like time cards, witness information, and working conditions. Your attorney should be able to help you gather the information required if you do not already have most of it on hand.
Workers’ compensation denials can feel like a slap in the face, especially when you have dedicated years to an employer, but denials are relatively common. Do not jump to any conclusions because a rejection of your initial claim might be due to a clerical error or some other resolvable issue. However, if that is not the case, then contact an experienced lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, and prepare for the appeals process.