If you’ve started going through the workers’ compensation process in Virginia, you might be hearing upsetting stories of workers’ compensation claims being denied. But who exactly denies the claims? Why? What can you do to increase the chances your claim will be approved?
Insurance Denies Claims
The workers’ compensation insurance company for your employer may deny your claim to start off. They don’t want to have to pay anymore than they have to, and, especially if you don’t have legal representation, you may decide it is too much of a hassle to fight them. In that case, they get an easy win and you get nothing.
If the insurance company denies your claim, your HammondTownsend attorney will prepare you for an evidentiary hearing and tell you how your claim will be moving along in the process. A denial from the workers’ compensation insurance company is not the end of your claim.
Commission Rules Against You
If the insurance company denies your claim, you will have an evidentiary hearing with a Deputy Commissioner from the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Deputy Commissioner is the title given to judges within the workers’ compensation system. At the hearing, both you and your attorney, as well as the attorney for the insurance company and your employer will present their arguments. Weeks, perhaps months, after the hearing the Deputy Commission will issue his Opinion awarding or denying the claim.
The commissioner makes the decision based on the evidence presented by both sides. This evidence may include deposition testimony by you or by others, medical records, and other documentation.
If the commissioner decides against you, there are several potential levels of appeal. You would talk with your HammondTownsend attorney to see if an appeal would be the right thing for you to do, or if you should accept the denial.
Improve Your Chances
Improve your chances that your workers’ comp claim will not be denied by making informed choices. Start by retaining a HammondTownsend attorney to file your workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. It’s a complicated process and having experts working for you simplifies everything.
Be careful what you post online and what you tell other people. The insurance company may try to use your online posts to discredit you at the evidentiary hearing.
Follow the instructions given to you by your HammondTownsend attorney and the paralegal on your claim to have the best possible chance of prevailing.