Do not let the insurance carrier or your employer deny you benefits.
Workplace injuries are a common occurrence. The average American adult spends 40% of their waking hours in the workplace. The number and types of workplace injuries that occur are many and specific to the job roles, industry and many other factors.
As a result, the government provides workers compensation. These benefits are intended to lighten the burden of medical expenses incurred by the victims and the added burden of loss of wages during treatment and recovery time.
Workers compensation insurance offers no-fault coverage to employees, which means that irrespective of the cause of injury, employees injured in the workplace are entitled to benefits. However, in many cases, injured workers are denied these benefits. In this article, we will explain what workers can do in case they are denied their rightful benefits.
Appealing a Denied Claim in Missouri
In Missouri, all employers are bound by law to have workers compensation insurance and pay for valid claims made by any employee injured at work. However, it is not uncommon for employers to deny workers compensation benefits as it increases their premium.
Injured workers, who have filed a claim and have been denied compensation, should first seek to understand and investigate why their claim was denied in the first place.
If a clerical error on part of the insurance company or the employer has led to a denial of compensation and benefits claim, then the decision of denial can be reversed by the claimant by the means of a simple phone call.
For any other reason for denial, the first thing that an injured worker should do is to consult a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer. There are certain legal procedures and processes entailing filing an appeal that are best followed with legal assistance.
Filing an Appeal
First, it’s important that the claimant understand the process of filing an appeal. The procedure is as follows in Missouri:
- A written application requesting a review of the claim should be filed with the Missouri Labor Commission within 20 days of receiving the notification of denial of the claim.
- If the Missouri Labor Commission denies the application, the claimant should then send a notice of appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals within 30 days of receiving the denial notification from the Labor Commission.
- The appeal should provide proof that should counter the reason for denial of the claim. This essentially means that if the claim has been denied because the employer claims that the injury did not occur at work, evidence such as videos from surveillance cameras, original accident report and even statements from colleagues can work as evidence. Similarly, if the insurance company denies a claim on the grounds that the injury is not serious enough, proof in terms of medical reports, test results, photographs of the injuries, doctors statements, etc. are valid proof of evidences.
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
Gathering evidence, conducting interviews with employers, co-workers and witnesses should always be conducted by an experienced workers compensation lawyer to ensure that correct accounts are provided and documentation is done accurately to ensure just and fair settlement.
Our St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can provide you with the necessary information to make the right choices so that you can receive the best medical care, benefits and income. Do not let the carrier deny you benefits. Call us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.