Work-related injuries are injuries that occur while a person is on-the-job and engaged in job-related activities. Work-related injuries raise the issue of workers’ compensation benefits. It is the responsibility of an employee to file a claim for payment or reimbursement from workers’ compensation. Reimbursement may be required for lost wages, medical bills, and other related expenses.
Approval or Denial of Workers’ Comp Claims
Once an employee has filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, the workers’ compensation insurer may approve or deny the claim. If the insurer denies the claim, the insurer issues a Notice of Denial. This notice informs the employee why the insurer is denying the claim. The insurer may deny part or all of a claim. The workers‘ compensation insurer must give the employee notice of a denial of the employee’s claim within twenty-one days of the date that it received the claim petition.
The Importance of Meeting Deadlines
Deadlines in the area of workers’ compensation must be met. Several important rights are extinguished completely by missing deadlines. Losing a right by missing a deadline can be very costly. It can lead to the denial of the claim entirely. Whether you are an insurer issuing a Notice of Denial or an employee challenging a denial, it is important to seek legal advice throughout the process.
Workers’ Comp Litigation Process
A worker’s compensation attorney can guide you through the discovery process involved in worker’s compensation litigation. “Discovery” is the process by which each side learns information in the possession or control of the other side. Sometimes there will be disagreements on what discovery must be produced and what discovery should be protected from production. When such disputes arise, the court will hear motions, or requests, from each side. The compensation judge will then make a decision and either order one side or the other to produce something, or permit one side or the other not to produce something.
Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Attorneys can be very helpful, even essential, during this process. It is important to make the most of the discovery process so that you can evaluate your case. What you learn from the other side is likely to either strengthen or weaken your case. Either way, it is important to know the cards that the other side is holding and avoid the element of surprise. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your case will also help you effectively negotiate a settlement of your case if you wish, and help you understand what type or amount of settlement is fair and appropriate in your case.