Dealing with a denied workers compensation claim is a hassle no one wants to deal with. You might think that suffering a work-related injury or illness automatically entitles you to workers comp benefits.
While for many claimants, this should be the case, insurance companies are money-hungry and will often issue denials to claimants who do meet the legal qualifications for workman’s comp. When this happens to you, it would be well-advised for you to seek legal representation to combat your denial. Continue reading to learn more about how you’ll fight your claim and prepare for going to court.
The workers compensation laws vary in each state, but for the purposes of this article, we are going to be looking at the workers comp laws in Iowa. To qualify for workers compensation benefits in Iowa, you simply need to be able to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by the conditions of your work environment.
However, there are some industries that do not qualify for workers comp benefits including firefighters, workers who are employed in the agricultural industry and police officers. This is because these workers can obtain workers comp in another way, such as through a pension fund.
There are a number of reasons why your claim might’ve been denied. Every denial should state the insurer’s reasoning. Some of these are valid reasons, such as failing to report your injury or illness to your employer within a certain amount of time or due to an error in your paperwork; while others are wrongful like in the case of an insurer presuming your injuries are disabling enough.
Every claimant has the right to appeal their workers comp denial. This is the time that you’ll want to hire an attorney. If your lawyer can’t resolve any disputes with the insurance company on your own, they will move forward with a formal appeal.
In Iowa, your lawyer will file what’s known as a contested case petition with the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner and a hearing date will be set. If the deputy workers comp commissioner upholds the insurance company’s denial, you can move forward by bringing your case to court.
To further appeal your case in Iowa, your attorney would file an appeal in Iowa district court. Upon your hearing, your attorney will present your medical documentation, witness testimony and other supporting evidence that demonstrates your need for workers comp benefits.
Also, your lawyer will make opening and closing arguments while your employer and their insurance company provide their reasoning for denying your claim. Oftentimes, at this stage, your case can be resolved.
If the verdict doesn’t come down in your favor, you will still have the option of appealing your case in the Iowa Court of Appeals and even go all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court.
When you’re preparing to fight your denied workers compensation claim, you need the best workers compensation lawyer out there. Your attorney can help get your denial reversed so that you can begin collecting the workers compensation benefits you deserve.
Don’t let yourself end up in a dire financial situation. Reach out to the best workers compensation lawyer so that you can continue to support yourself and your family while you recuperate from your work-related illness or injury.