What You Need To Do Before Appealing A Workers Compensation Rejection
Few things can be as upsetting as a workers' compensation claim rejection letter. However, under workers' compensation law, you have the right to appeal the rejection if you believe it to be incorrect. You will need to do a handful of things before you launch an appeal, though.
Ideally, you made copies of any paperwork that went with the initial claim request. Likewise, you should make copies of the rejection letter. Similarly, you should document all correspondence related to the claim, such as communications with your supervisor about time off. You should be able to nail down the basic details, such as when the incident in question happened and when you filed the case. This information will help a workers' compensation lawyer assess the likelihood of a successful appeal.
You should make enough copies to share them with multiple law offices. Keep the original documents in a safe location so you can find them if needed later.
The appeal system is heavily process-driven. You need to know what the filing dates are and how to interact with the legal structures of workers' compensation law. A workers' compensation lawyer can be invaluable in sorting out the oddities of this system. Many offer free or low-cost consultations so there isn't much at risk if you need some guidance.
It is also wise to contact several law offices. Each may have a slightly different take on your case. Bear in mind that one workers' compensation lawyer passing on the case isn't the end of the world. Every attorney has a threshold for risking their time and effort on cases, and one passing on the case just means it wasn't quite something they were up for. You should be trying to find the right lawyer for you.
Identify the Statutory Limits
To keep the workers' compensation law system from struggling with old cases, states tend to have statutes of limitations for filing cases. If someone files after the statutory limit, the court will reject the case without further consideration.
Individual states have their own rules, and the limits will vary. Likewise, many states maintain different rules for hard-to-discover medical issues. For example, chemical exposure cases often don't lead to evidence of problems like cancer for years or even decades. Generally, the clock on these claims doesn't start until you learn about the medical problem. However, you should check with an attorney and not assume this is how the clock will work on your case.