Workers' Compensation Appeals Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private industry workers reported about 2.6 million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2021. Under Kansas workers' compensation laws, employees who are injured or become ill from a work-related incident are eligible to seek benefits by filing workers' compensation claims.
Although not all claims are approved and paid by the workers' comp insurer. The insurance carrier may undervalue or completely deny your claims due to misrepresentation, insufficient evidence, delayed filing, or failure to receive medical treatments. Fortunately, you may appeal the denial to get the workers comp insurer to overturn their decision and approve your benefits.
At Slape & Howard, we are here to help you through the appeals process. Our seasoned Kansas workers' compensation attorneys can evaluate and investigate the reasons for the denial and help you recover your deserved workers' comp benefits. We're proud to serve clients across Wichita and throughout all of Kansas.
Reasons a Workers' Compensation Claim May Be Denied
Some of the most common reasons why workers' compensation claims are often denied include:
You suffered the accident or injury outside of work or from horseplay.
Additional investigation from the insurance provider to validate your claims.
Unnecessary delay in filing your claims.
Your employer disputes your workers' comp claims.
You were treated by an unqualified or unapproved doctor.
You failed to report your illness or injury in time.
Failure to meet the eligibility requirement and filing deadline for workers' compensation claims.
You didn't get adequate medical treatment after the work-related accident, illness, or injury.
The accident occurred while you were intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.
Your injuries or illness are due to a pre-existing medical issue.
There is no documentation, evidence, or medical records to support your claims.
If your Kansas workers' compensation claim is denied, it is vital to identify the reason for the denial. You will get a Notice of Denial indicating why your claims or benefits were denied by the workers' compensation insurer. The denial notice is also known as a "Notice of Controversion" for federal claims.
Notice of Controversion
As mentioned earlier, a Notice of Denial or Notice of Controversion is a written notice that the workers' comp insurance provides when denying a claim filed by an injured employee. Under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act, the written notice must indicate the reasons for the claims denial and a deadline to file an appeal.
If you have received a Notice of Denial from the insurance provider, you should get in touch with a reliable workers' compensation lawyer immediately. Your legal counsel can carefully review the reasons for the denial, help file your appeal, and prepare you for the hearing.
What to Do If a Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied
If the insurance provider has denied your workers' compensation claim in Kansas, you may be entitled to file an appeal. Take the following steps, where necessary:
Hire a practiced attorney for detailed guidance and to help file your appeal.
File an Application for a Preliminary Hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
Attend the initial hearing. Present substantial evidence and testimony to prove your claims.
If your case isn't resolved at the initial hearing, another date will be scheduled for a full hearing.
Attend a full hearing and present additional evidence and witnesses.
If you're not satisfied with the ALJ's ruling, file for a review by the Appeals Board within ten days.
Also, the Appeals Board will review your submitted brief, arguments, and evidence and order you and your employer into mediation. Alternatively, another full hearing may be scheduled. Depending on the decision of the Appeals Board, your compensation may be awarded, adjusted, or denied.
The Appeals Board may refer your case back to the administrative law judge for reconsideration. A seasoned workers' compensation lawyer can walk you through the appeal process and improve your chances of getting the most favorable outcome.
Accepting a Settlement
If you're open to a feasible compromise, you may be able to resolve your workers' comp claim with the insurer or your employee through mediation or negotiations. Based on the outcome of your claims or appeal, the insurer can propose a settlement offer. This might be either a single lump-sum payment or a structured payment plan.
Additionally, the settlement will help cover your medical expenses, lost income, disability benefits, legal fees, and other associated costs. It is important that your attorney has reviewed the insurer's settlement offer before you accept. Your lawyer will make sure all work-related injuries, damages, and losses are covered or help negotiate a better settlement.
Seek Experienced Legal Guidance From a Skilled Attorney
Discovering that the insurer has denied your workers' compensation claim can be confusing. Thankfully, you're within your rights to take necessary legal action to appeal the decision. At Slape & Howard, our attorneys have an abundance of experience and resources to guide employees through the complex procedures involved in workers' compensation appeals.
Workers' Compensation Appeals Attorneys Serving Wichita, Kansas
Our skilled legal team can assess the reasons for the denial, explore your legal options, and decide the best way to proceed with your appeal. Also, we will gather more evidence and witness statements to prove your claims, help file your appeal, and coach you extensively for the hearing. Contact us at Slape & Howard today to speak with trusted workers' compensation lawyers. Our firm proudly serves clients across Wichita and throughout all of Kansas.