No one goes to work expecting to be injured on the job or contract an occupational illness. Even those who know the risks of their profession oftentimes can’t avoid the hazards associated with it. While most individuals are fortunate enough to escape and serious incidences that leave them unable to work, others suffer workplace injuries that can significantly impact their lives.
While workers’ compensation may be available to these injured workers, the sad reality is that these claims are sometimes denied, for a variety of reasons. As stressful as that can be, you should take comfort knowing that you have the ability to appeal a claim denial or an award that you feel is too low.
The first step in the appeals process is petitioning for review. This petition needs to be filed within 30 days of the initial determination and will allow your claim to be reviewed by three individuals at the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The matter will be set for a hearing. You’ll be able to submit your argument in writing, but you’ll also have a short amount of time at the hearing to give oral argument.
If you don’t achieve a favorable result at that point, then you can appeal to the various levels of the state court system, which could potentially go all the way to the state’s supreme court.
Appealing a denied or reduced workers’ compensation claim can be stressful and overwhelming. A lot is on the line, too. After all, most injured workers rely on workers’ compensation benefits to get by while they focus on their recovery and getting back to work. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to put forth the best legal arguments possible under the circumstances.