When you are injured or fall ill as a result of your job duties, including repetitive trauma injuries like carpal tunnel, you are most likely eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is designed to pay your medical bills and even receive part of your wages to continue to support your family while you are disabled because of your job.
However, workers’ compensation claims are expensive and a huge financial burden for employers, so it’s not unusual for employers to fight back against them. This means your claim might be denied, even though it could be completely legitimate. So what are your options for ensuring you get the compensation you both need and deserve?
Common Reasons for Denial
Not Filing On Time
Florida law states that you must file your claim within a certain amount of time to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. How long you have to file your claim depends on your condition. While injuries must be reported to your employer within 30 days, sicknesses or long-term conditions must be reported within 30 days of receiving your diagnosis. If you don’t file within the allotted time, your employer is no longer liable to pay for your treatment. This is designed to prevent abuse of the system by claiming compensation for injuries that happened many years prior and have a debatable impact on your current life, or can be made worse by leaving it untreated.
If your injury occurs at work but while you are in a non-working capacity, your employer may dispute the injury and say it was not work-related. Likewise, they can dispute that the injury you are claiming had anything to do with the accident you were involved in. Employer disputes extremely common, so it’s important that you keep all evidence that supports your claim, including evidence of the accident and medical diagnosis paperwork.
Appealing a Decision
When you file a claim, you should receive a letter discussing whether your claim has been accepted or denied. If your claim is denied, the letter will give the reason for the claim denial. Make sure you read this letter carefully, as it will also list any appeal deadlines.
If your claim was denied for a simple reason, such as a paperwork error, rectifying the issue will usually allow your claim to be accepted. However, this is fairly rare and odds are you’ll need to go through the appeals process.
Your appeal will most likely include a hearing before an administrative law judge during which you will present evidence in support of your claim and the existence of your condition. This means you will need paperwork supporting your condition from your physician. It’s highly advised that you seek treatment from a doctor who regularly deals with workers’ compensation claims, as they’ll be well aware of the laws and requirements pertaining to claims and appeals, and will be able to easily provide you with the documentation and support you need.
If your claim has been denied you should also speak with an experienced Martin County workers’ compensation attorney. At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, we have over 75 years of experience protecting those who have been injured or become ill as a result of their occupation, including representing their best interest throughout the appeals process. We firmly believe in protecting your rights, and we are not afraid to take your case as far as we need to in order to get you the resolution you deserve.Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at 866-675-4427 and ask to receive a free case evaluation!