When we get dressed for work in the morning, the last thing we’re thinking about is getting hurt. We just want to get through the day so we can get back home to our families. Unfortunately, people get hurt in work accidents every day. It’s important that you know what to do if this happens to you.
For most people, getting hurt at work isn’t the end of the world. They file a workers’ comp claim through their Human Resources department. They get their benefits in a week or two and are provided with good medical care. When they’re ready to go back to work, they go back to work.
So, what happens if your workers’ comp claim is denied? Who do you turn to? The first thing you need to do if your claim is denied is call an experienced Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer. Your lawyer will help you appeal your claim. And, more importantly, he’ll handle your workers’ comp lawsuit if necessary.
Call a Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer as Soon as You Find Out Your Claim is Denied
In a perfect world, if your claim is denied you’ll be told directly by your employer. They’d call you and let you know that there is an issue with your claim. However, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Depending on the situation, there are a few ways you may learn that your claim is denied:
- You get a letter in the mail stating that your claim has been denied
- You patiently wait for your benefits to kick in and they never do. You have to reach out to find out why and that is when you’re told your claim is denied.
- You show up for a doctor’s appointment and they tell you your treatment is not covered because your claim has been denied.
If any of these things happen to you, call a Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer immediately. There is no reason for you to find out this way. Your employer should at least have the courtesy to explain why your claim was denied.
Your Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help Appeal Your Claim
There are certain steps you need to take if your workers’ comp claim is denied. Although you technically have one (1) year to file your appeal in Louisiana, don’t wait this long. Go to see an attorney as soon as you find out your claim is denied. The longer you wait, the longer you’ll go without benefits.
The steps you take depend on what part of your claim is denied.
- If your entire claim has been denied, or your financial benefits, you’ll need to file a “Disputed Claim for Compensation” form. This form will be sent to the state office for workers’ comp. A copy will also be sent to your employer and their insurance company. They’ll have fourteen (14) days to respond to your claim. If they approve your claim, you’ll start receiving benefits. If not, you’ll have to follow through with the appeal.
- If only the medical coverage portion of your claim has been denied, you’ll need to file a different form. This form is called a “Disputed Claim for Medical Treatment.” You’ll still send it to the state and your employer.
- If the matter isn’t resolved within the fourteen days, you’ll be sent to voluntary mediation. This is where your attorney and your employer’s insurance company meet with an impartial mediator to resolve the issue. Most cases are settled this way. However, if you’re unable to reach a settlement, you’ll have to attend an actual hearing.
- Your workers’ compensation hearing will be scheduled after the failed mediation. It can take months for your hearing to take place. Because you won’t be receiving benefits during this time, your lawyer will do his best to settle your claim rather than wait for the hearing.
- At the hearing, a judge will determine if you’re entitled to benefits. If you win at your hearing, you should be entitled to back pay for your benefits. You’ll also be entitled to reimbursement for your medical bills.
A Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer Will Get You the Compensation You Deserve
The insurance company is going to have lawyers working for them. The last thing you want to do is handle your claim yourself. You aren’t familiar with the process. You don’t even know the strict deadlines and procedures.
Call and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Louisiana workers’ comp lawyer. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim. He’ll deal with the insurance company on your behalf. And, more importantly, he’ll represent you throughout the appeals process.