You were hurt on the job, so you filed a worker's compensation claim. Much to your dismay, your claim was rejected. If this sounds like your situation and you feel that your claim was rejected unfairly, you can still appeal the decision. According to Nolo, 80 percent of workers who are initially denied worker's compensation don't appeal their claim. This may be partially due to the fact that people aren't sure how to go about the process. Here are the steps you should take to appeal a denied worker's compensation claim:
1. Contact the insurance company.
When you are denied worker's compensation, the first thing you should do is figure out why your claim was denied. Call or email the appropriate insurance company and ask them why they failed to approve your claim. The reason may be that you waited too long to file or that you failed to submit all the required documents. Depending on their answer, you can decide whether or not to move forward with the appeal.
2. Take note of appeal deadlines.
Legal deadlines are important milestones that you can't afford to miss, especially when filing an appeal. When your worker's compensation claim is first denied, you should receive notification either in a letter or email. This document should contain information about how you can appeal your claim, including a date by which you should submit your appeal. Write this date down somewhere so you won't forget.
3. Hire a worker's compensation attorney.
Legitimate claims are sometimes rejected simply because insurers would rather not pay, and injured workers don't know how to go about submitting appeals. Attorneys like Mooney and Associates LLC can help you navigate the sometimes confusing appeal process. Worker's compensation attorneys receive a slim percentage of your benefits if your claim is successful, so you don't have to worry about paying expensive legal feels out of pocket.
4. Ensure that you have adequate medical evidence.
Your worker's comp attorney can help you find a doctor who can contribute his or her medical expertise, and your attorney can also help you to compile adequate evidence. Don't rely on examinations from the insurance company's doctors, as these doctors can sometimes be biased in favor of the insurance company. Having extensive medical evidence to bolster your claim will only help your case, so be sure to follow your attorney's advice.
Getting hurt on the job can really disrupt your life. Being denied worker's compensation for that injury is an even worse scenario. Luckily, there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. By following these four steps, you will be able to appeal your denied claim in a timely and professional manner.