If you have suffered an injury at your workplace and have applied for workers' compensation and your employer is now pushing back against your claim, or perhaps you are receiving resistance from your insurance company, you can get help from your local department of labor. This is especially true if your employer or insurance company has disputed your claim that you were hurt at work or the extent of your medical treatment.
You can also file a claim if your receiving pushback over how much you are entitled to in compensation or if you are entitled to benefits at all. You can then either file a formal claim petition or file an application for an informal hearing with the help of a workers compensation attorney.
After You File for an Informal Hearing
Once you have filed a claim for an informal hearing, your case will then be assigned to a court officer who will act as the judge in your claim, and to a nearby office. The office will contact you, your employer and the workers' compensation insurance company of a hearing date. This should take place within six months of when you made your claim. In the majority of cases, informal claims are resolved within the first or second hearing.
Retain a Lawyer
While you can represent yourself if you wish to, it is a good idea to retain a lawyer to represent you and protect your interests at the hearing. The insurance company and/or your employer will definitely have their lawyer at the hearing and you don't want a lack of experience in the law to hurt your case. You should contact a lawyer fairly soon after your injury takes place so you can receive legal advice to ensure your claim goes well.
Before the hearing, you will submit all your medical records and any accident reports made at the time of your injury by the company. The insurance company will do the same. The judge will look over these reports and see how well they match up.
During the hearing, the judge will ask you questions regarding your injuries, what your disability is and why you can't work or can only work in a modified way, and how the disability affects your daily life. The insurance company will present their claim on why they feel you are not entitled to benefits.
The judge will look over all documents and take into account what everyone says and present recommendations. These are not binding and neither party has to agree to follow them. If you do, the agreement is signed and both parties must follow it. If you do not agree with the judge's recommendations, then you can file a formal claim petition.