If you get hurt at work, you expect to get workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be harder to get these benefits than you would expect. There are ways to challenge a bad decision though, and a Corpus Christi, Texas work injury lawyer from our firm can help you fight for the best possible outcome.
How Does the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process Work?
When you apply for workers’ compensation, an insurance company can decide whether or not you should receive benefits. They can reach a decision, and then you can ask to renegotiate the workers’ compensation award if you do not think that it is sufficient.
If an agreement cannot be reached, you have to attend an informal hearing known as a benefit review conference. If an agreement still cannot be reached, then you have two options. You can go through arbitration or you can attend a more formal hearing in front of a judge. An important thing to note is that a decision reached in arbitration cannot be appealed.
Many people decide to move forward with a contested case hearing in front of an administrative law judge. They will make a decision, and then you have the option to appeal if you still do not like the result.
Why Would My Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?
Insurance companies can come up with all kinds of reasons to deny workers’ compensation claims or offer inadequate awards. Common reasons for denial include:
- Not believing that your injury happened at work
- Claiming that you have a preexisting condition unrelated to work
- Accusing you of using drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
- Arguing that you are an independent contractor and not subject to workers’ compensation rules
How Long Do I Have to Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Decision?
You have 15 days to make your appeal. It needs to be in writing and you need to send a copy to any other involved parties as well. After you make your case, the Appeals Panel can decide whether to change the judge’s decision, keep it in place, or send you back to the administrative law judge.
Can an Attorney Help Me?
A work injury attorney can be helpful at every stage of this process. They can negotiate with the insurer if you do not receive adequate compensation, potentially ending this process early on. If that does not work, they can represent you at hearings and help you gather the evidence needed to make your case. It can be hard to go through this process on your own. So let our lawyers help you.
Talk to Our Legal Team Today
If you want to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to secure the workers’ compensation that you deserve, contact Sahadi Legal Group. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how our experienced workplace injury lawyers can help you. Call us today!