An injury on the job can disrupt an employee’s whole life, and the effects are only compounded when a workers’ comp claim is denied. If your claim is rejected, you may not know how you’re going to support yourself moving forward or what your future may hold. Luckily, following a claim denial, you can appeal the decision and possibly get the benefits that you need to move on with your life. Keeping reading to learn the basics of a workers’ comp appeal and find out how to get representation from a workers’ comp attorney.
Requesting a Hearing
After your workers comp claim has been denied, you have a right to an appeal before your state workers’ compensation board. In North Carolina, this is referred to as the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC); in South Carolina, it is known as the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). Although these two boards are fairly similar in their purpose, the appeals process for each board varies in important ways, which makes it useful to examine how the separate review processes work.
Mediation and Medical Reviews
When you have requested a hearing from the NCIC, a mediation conference will take place. A professional workers’ comp attorney can help explain this process. This meeting is informal and not binding. You and your employer will select a mediator to direct the meeting, although the NCIC can also assign a mediator if no agreement is reached. During the mediation conference, your mediator will determine if you should receive benefits or not. If either you or your employer disagrees with the results of the mediation, you can request a formal hearing.
As far as the WCC goes, the process is slightly different. Once you request a hearing before the WCC, you may be requested to undergo a medical examination that will be used as evidence during your hearing. During the hearing, the WCC will issue a decision. If the decision is not to you or your employer’s liking, you request a second review in front of a panel of commissioners who will re-examine your case and issue another decision.
Finally, if your claim is still denied following your hearing in either state, you still have a course of action.
Appealing the Decision
Once you’ve navigated the hearing process before the NCIC or WCC, you may still find yourself without the benefits you deserve. In these circumstances, it’s time to take legal action. Your final course of action will be to take your case before the Court of Appeals in whatever state you reside in. Your workers’ comp attorney will construct and argue your case before the Court and attempt to show that you have been unfairly denied your workers’ comp benefits. After your case has been fully presented, the Court will make a decision on whether you will finally receive your benefits or not.
Fight for Your Claim with a Workers’ Comp Attorney
After being hurt on the job, you deserve workers’ compensation benefits so that you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, some people’s claims are denied, leaving them in a very precarious financial situation. If you’re benefits have been denied, you need legal help. The best way to get that help is by hiring a workers’ comp attorney from the Tatum Law Firm. We have the experience needed to fight for your benefits and would be happy to work on your behalf. Schedule a consultation with the Tatum Law Firm today.