Denied workers’ compensation claims can leave an injured worker wondering where to turn next. If you have filed a claim and received notice that it has been denied, you need assistance from the attorneys at Reinhardt, Harper, Davis PLC in Richmond, VA. We have the knowledge and training needed to correctly handle workers’ compensation appeals. While we strive to negotiate with the commission to reconsider, we will not hesitate to file an appeal with the courts if necessary.
What to Do When a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied
If you get hurt on the job, you have the right to file a claim for compensation under the workers compensation’ guidelines. After your claim is filed, you will go to a hearing before the deputy commissioner for the workers’ compensation board, and receive a written decision regarding your claim. The decision will address your requests for ongoing medical needs, permanent or temporary disability, and other components of workers’ compensation payments. If the deputy commissioner denies your claim, you can take one of several actions:
- Request the deputy commissioner reconsider the ruling in your case. The commissioner has the ability to review the matter again, for 30 days after the decision is made.
- Request review by the full Workers’ Compensation Commission, for instances where it is not a good idea to have the deputy commissioner reexamine your case.
- File an appeal with the Virginia State Court of Appeals. This step should be taken only after the commission also denies your claim.
There are fairly tight deadlines for seeking review of a denied workers’ compensation claim, and failure to meet those deadlines means you do not get a chance to have your claim looked at again. Only knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys should be used for your appeals process, so you can rest easy knowing the process is properly followed.
What to Expect During an Appeal
Asking the commission to review the denial of your workers’ compensation claim requires you to specifically set forth the basis for your claim, and how the decision to deny it was erroneous. Legal briefing is necessary, as is making an oral argument to the commission. It is also critical to rely upon the record in your case, pointing to the evidence you presented and outlining how disregarding the evidence or making a finding contrary to the evidence was a mistake. The case record is read in conjunction with your legal argument as to why the denial was wrong, and the commission will need a blueprint of the factual background and evidence to put the pieces of the puzzle together and decide whether your claim was rightfully denied or whether a different decision should be made.
The more clearly you can set forth your basis for appeal, the smoother the appeals process. It is always best to make the job of review easier on the commission, so important questions do not go unanswered or vital pieces of information overlooked. If the commission arrives at the same decision, you do have the option to take your appeal to the courts. Again, you have only a short time to file an appeal with the court and missing the deadline is not an option.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you have been hurt on the job, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Reinhardt, Harper, Davis PLC to schedule an appointment. We offer a free initial consultation and will review your case while keeping you informed of your legal rights. After we have talked over your case with you and explained your options, you will be able to make an informed decision about how to move forward.