Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies sometimes fight or deny valid workers’ compensation claims. If your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal, and if your case cannot be resolved through mediation and/or settlement, you may be required to attend a hearing before the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can help you prepare for your hearing by gathering evidence, submitting required documents, and providing support and guidance every step of the way.
Preparing for an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Hearing
To file a claim, you must complete a claim for compensation to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (including details regarding the date of your injury, any benefits you’ve already received, the benefits you’re seeking, and the issues in dispute). After this, the commission will send notices to both you and your employer. The commission will give the insurance company 20 days to file a response, which initiates the claim process.
If you can’t reach a satisfactory agreement through mediation, the commission will schedule a formal hearing. Before the hearing, you and the respondents will be required to exchange multiple types of evidence. You will need to provide copies of any accident reports, medical reports, and other evidence that you have to the respondents. The company will also be required to provide copies of the evidence it has to you. This exchange of evidence is meant to facilitate the possibility of an agreement. You can continue negotiating with the insurance company throughout the discovery process.
During the discovery phase, you may be asked to attend a deposition, which is a meeting that is held outside of court under oath. At this meeting, the respondents’ attorney will be able to question you about your claim and your injuries. Other witnesses that you intend to call may also be deposed, such as your doctor, employer, and other fact witnesses.
The commission will ask you to submit to some other procedures before your hearing. For example, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire, which may include questions about your claim’s status and the benefits you’re seeking. You will need to submit a list of exhibits that you intend to use and evidence that you will seek to admit at your hearing. In addition, you will need to submit a list of witnesses that you intend to call.
Before your formal hearing, the administrative law judge who will hear your appeal will hold a pre-hearing conference. At that time, you will be asked for a list of the witnesses and evidence that you intend to present.
Get Help with Your Appeal
Workers’ compensation benefits can provide an important safety net to people who are injured at their jobs. If your claim has been denied, you should seek help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact us online or call 479-783-8000.