So you’ve been injured at work and are now struggling to figure out how to make ends meet. It’s not an easy task. After all, your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs continue to accumulate at a time when you either don’t have or have run out of paid time off. This can leave you in a dire predicament, but one that can be alleviated by workers’ compensation benefits if you qualify.
Sounds easy, right? Well, the sad reality is that many initial workers’ compensation claims are denied. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including lack of medical evidence and evidence that the injury pre-dated the workplace accident. Fortunately, even if your claim was denied on the first go-round you can take another shot at recovering the benefits you need and deserve.
This comes in the form of an appeal. There are many appellate steps, which include, in order:
- Administrative review of the denied claim whereby three members of the Workers’ Compensation Board review and usually affirm, rescind, or modify the initial determination. In some instances, this stage allows for you to present additional evidence.
- Review of the claim by the entire Workers’ Compensation Board. This is discretionary, meaning that the full Board doesn’t have to review your case. If they do, though, they will either affirm, rescind, or deny the initial determination.
- Review by the appellate court system.
At each stage of the appellate process, you might have the opportunity to present additional evidence and/or legal arguments to support your position. This means that you need to be armed with the facts, records, and legal knowledge necessary to present your case in a persuasive fashion. If you think you could benefit from assistance in developing your legal strategy at any point in the process, from an initial claim filing through appeals, then you might want to sit down with an attorney who knows how to put you and your interests first.