When your workers’ compensation claim is denied in Long Beach, CA, it can be a hard blow. You’ve already been injured and have likely lost wages. You are limited in your ability to work or partial ability to work, and your medical bills are piling up. Your personal bills are most likely not getting paid as well. Workers’ compensation claims do get denied more often than they should, but it’s the nature of the business. Insurance adjusters do not like to pay insurance claims, and they go out of their way not to. But many times, they are legitimate claims. If you are in this situation, it’s time to call a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Canlas Law Group strives to provide straightforward and simple legal services to its clients in need. Our consistency exceeds our client’s expectations, from providing legal counsel and advice to representation and litigation. Our professional lawyers have the credentials and experience to rise to the occasion for every client. We value trust as a critical building block of our firm, and we aim to build and strengthen our client-attorney relationship at every opportunity we get. Our service-intensive and client-focused approach yields results.
A denied claim is not the end of a workers’ comp case. There is always the option to dispute a denial of benefits for workers’ compensation insurance. If your claim was denied, that means that the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) claims administrator did not determine that your injury was covered under workers’ compensation. If you receive a letter stating that your claim was denied, you can appeal this decision, but it must be done in a timely manner because there are strict deadlines for disputing a denial of benefits decision. To optimize your chances of winning your appeal case, hiring an attorney is ideal.
To appeal the DWC’s decision to deny your benefits, you must file an Application for Adjudication of Claim in the county where you reside or in the county where your injury took place and serve the application to the claims administrator who denied your case. You will receive your case number via mail and then must file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to request to have your case heard in front of an administrative law judge for workers’ compensation cases. These hearings do not have juries and are called mandatory settlement conferences (MSCs). An attempt to come to an agreement will be made. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, you will be scheduled for a trial.
If your case goes to trial, you will need to prepare documentations that outline your appeal, identify witnesses, and indicate evidence you will be presenting at your trial. Another judge will preside over your trial, which is mandatory for you to attend. Between 30 and 90 days following the trial, the judge will notify you by mail of the decision. If either party (the injured or the claims adjustor) does not agree with the judge’s decision, they must file a Petition for Reconsideration.
The process of appealing a workers’ comp denied claim, described above, is more grueling than you can probably imagine. There are several required steps that must be taken and tasks that must be completed. It can be difficult for an injured worker to meet all the requirements with enough fervor to gain the judge’s opinion that benefits are due. For example, below is a non-exhaustive list of potential requirements for appealing a workers’ compensation claim denial.
Doing all these tasks is painstaking enough, but doing them while injured is even harder. A workers’ comp lawyer can take care of all these things for you. Additionally, a qualified workers’ compensation attorney knows what the judge is looking for and knows how to win these types of appeal cases. Without an attorney, you’re taking a big chance at missing your opportunity to receive restitution for your injury. A lawyer can increase the odds your case is approved.
Understanding why your claim was denied can help in your appeal. Listed below are a few reasons why the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) would deny a claim.
By determining why a claim was denied, an experienced attorney can help you pinpoint the area to focus on in your appeal case.
The state refers to a workers’ comp lawyer as an “applicant’s attorney.” Your attorney will not directly charge you for legal services, so you have little to lose in hiring one. The fee for legal services will be paid to your lawyer out of your benefits compensation settlement. This is called a contingency fee because the fee for services is contingent on your case outcome. If you don’t end up receiving benefits, you won’t owe your lawyer anything for the legal services they provided to you regarding your workers’ compensation insurance denial case.
You have exactly 20 days from the date you are notified to initiate an appeal for denied workers’ compensation benefits. If you received notice via mail, you have 25 days from the date of the letter. This is a very short window for getting the form in to apply to appeal, which is just the first step and the first deadline you’ll face. An attorney who has successfully appealed countless workers’ comp case denials is the key to getting your appeal submitted by the deadline with fewer chances for error.
California law requires all employers who have one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees, and not doing so is a criminal offense punishable by either a $10,000 minimum fine ($100,000 maximum fine per employee), jail time for up to one year, or both. Uninsured employers are also subject to the medical bills for the injured and can be sued by any injured employee, although maintaining proper workers’ comp insurance offers some protections against employee lawsuits.
A workplace injury must be reported by the 30th day following the injury, and a workers’ compensation claim must be filed by one year from the date of the injury. The statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Long Beach is strict, so filing your claim in a timely manner will avoid problems in your case if you wait.
Workers’ compensation insurance benefits are established for employees of companies. Therefore, non-employees such as sole proprietors and business owners are exempt from workers’ comp and not eligible for benefits, nor are they required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Independent contractors are also exempt in California, but misclassifying eligible employees as independent contractors to avoid having to pay for workers’ compensation insurance coverage has steep consequences.
The injured employee is responsible for paying their regular portion of their health care insurance premium, and their employer pays their regular portion of their employee’s health care coverage premium. Employees should never be asked to pay, however, any part of the workers’ compensation insurance policy. That is solely the responsibility of the employer.
If you have been denied your claim for workers’ compensation even though you are entitled to restitution for your work-related injury, you don’t have to fight the claims administrator or the insurance company alone. Canlas Law Group has recovered over $100 million for clients, many of them in similar situations as you are in right now. Let us help you get the settlement you deserve for your workplace injury. Leave the stress to us, so you can heal and get your life back. Call Canlas Law Group today and speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable legal team members.