Employees in any line of work or industry in California can get hurt while on the job. An example of this would be suffering broken bones after falling from high scaffolding. Employees can also develop illnesses that are somehow related to their jobs. For instance, some workers have contracted mesothelioma after years of exposure to asbestos.
When such situations arise, workers’ compensation is supposed to be there to help. However, there are many times when claims for these important benefits are denied. This leaves individuals wondering what they can do, and if they will ever receive the help they need and deserve.
ATTORNEYS UNDERSTAND CALIFORNIA LAW
The State of California Department of Industrial Relations indicates that illnesses or injuries should be reported to employers within 30 days of either being discovered or happening. Additionally, there are strict guidelines surrounding how and when employees should seek medical care and what documentation is needed when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Claims should provide as much evidence as possible in order to support the need for benefits. This may include medical records, statements from co-workers, and more. Attorneys experienced in dealing with workers’ compensation claims understand the nuances of California’s laws and how to make sure claims include the right types of supporting information.
LOWER YOUR RISK OF DENIAL
No matter how clear a situation may seem to an injured or ill employee, a workers’ compensation claim can be denied. PayScale explains that the reasons this may happen are many-fold and include the following:
Workers have had prior medical conditions that can be considered as the root of their current problem.
The injuries or illnesses were not reported to employers within the required timeline.
The doctor who treated the injured worker was not on the approved network.
Insufficient information was given to a doctor regarding the injury.
By working with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, injured employees can avoid making many of these mistakes. A lawyer will help them gather together all relevant information regarding the accident and the injury, guide them to the right medical professionals, and assist them in filing claims correctly and on time.
ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR APPEAL
When an initial claim is denied, engaging an attorney can be especially important. The deadlines involved in the appeal process are tight. An initial Petition for Reconsideration must be filed within 25 days of the date of the original denial if the decision was sent by regular mail. The time period to file the petition is reduced to 20 days if it was delivered in person. If an appeal is denied, there are 45 days in which to initiate a writ for review to the state.
At every step in the process, the need to ensure that all evidence is properly collected, documented and presented is critical. Working with a lawyer early in the process is the recommended path to avoiding some of the common mistakes that lead to claim denials.