A workplace injury can happen at any time, to people in just about any industry. Whether you work in manufacturing, construction, retail or information technology, there are risks you face every day on the job. Most people navigate their daily employment without any serious injuries or accidents. However, thousands of people suffer major injuries on the job every year in New York.
The good news for injured workers is that, in most cases, they have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. These claims can help you connect with benefits, such as lost wage replacement, medical coverage and even re-training for a new career path. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, you could find out that your claim got denied instead of approved. When that happens, you need to know your rights and take action quickly.
There are many reasons for a claim denial
People receive notification of denied claims for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps you failed to submit medical documentation with your claim. Maybe you left important information on the form blank. It is also possible that your employer does not agree with your claim. Thankfully, you typically have the right to appeal a workers’ compensation claim denial.
For many workers, the most insulting reason for a denial is that the employer disputes the claim. Companies choose to do this for a number of reasons. Sometimes, an employee does the right thing and reports the accident to a supervisor. However, that supervisor fails to make a note of it and file the proper paperwork.
Other times, the company may have inadequate information, leading them to believe the injury isn’t related to the incident. It is even possible for a company to maliciously deny a claim they know relates to a legitimate work injury in the hope of reducing their costs.
Take action to appeal as soon as you can after a denial
The workers’ compensation program is a bureaucratic system, meaning there is a lot of paperwork, as well as legal requirements and strict deadlines. The sooner you take action, the better. For workers, it is important to always report an accident as soon as it happens and seek medical treatments and evaluation quickly. It is also important to file the initial claim in a timely manner.
Similarly, it is important to file an appeal as soon as possible after receiving a denial. Waiting too long could mean that you lose your opportunity to seek an appeal. That could mean losing out on your benefits entirely. The sooner you identify the cause for your denial and initiate the appeals process, the better.
Ideally, you will have an opportunity to speak with coworkers who witnessed the accident, obtain medical records and gather documentation of the accident and injury that resulted. This can help you move forward with a successful appeal and help you connect with the benefits you need during your recovery.