As a public servant, you put in a lot of hours in a lot of dangerous conditions. It’s a sometimes thankless job, but the pleasure of knowing the importance of your work can make it all worthwhile. Given everything you put on the line day in and day out, the very least you can ask for is to be compensated when you are injured on the job or develop a medical condition directly tied to your line of work. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system often takes care of that.
However, in some instances workers’ compensation claims are denied. There are a variety of reasons for claim denials, from the fact that an injury or illness preexisted the workplace accident to the fact that an illness in question can’t be directly tied to one’s profession. Regardless of the reason for a claim denial, you have the ability to appeal it. This is a critical step to take if you hope to recover the benefits to which you are entitled.
But how does it work? To start, if you think the person adjudicating your claim made a bad decision based on the evidence you presented, then you’ll need to file a petition to reconsider with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. The Board will then either accept or deny to review it. Then, if it agrees to review your claim, and maybe even after allowing you to present additional evidence, the Board will make a decision on your claim.
If the Board still denies your claim, then you move the case to the state court of appeals. Here, the court will only review the case to see if the initial determination is reasonable. It won’t reweight the evidence or allow additional evidence to be presented. If your claim is still denied by the court of appeals, then you could technically petition to transfer your case to the state supreme court, but that court is unlikely to hear it.
There are a lot of strict timelines and evidentiary requirements involved with a workers’ compensation appeal, and the way you present your argument on appeal can be crucial. That is why it is extremely important to put forth your case as strongly as possible every step of the way. If you think you could use some assistance with that, then it may be time to consider reaching out to an attorney you trust.