Being injured or sickened at work can be a devastating, life-changing experience. In the unfortunate event of a workplace injury, people who work in Arkansas and Oklahoma should generally be covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policies. Employers must provide this coverage for their workers to protect them. However, some claims are denied. You might be wondering, “What do I do if my workers comp claim is denied?” Fortunately, even if your workers’ compensation claim is denied, there are still some options available to you.
What Do I Do If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
First, you will need to determine why your claim was denied. This is typically quite easy, as you will receive a denial letter that lists the reasons why your claim was denied. Workers’ compensation claims are denied for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Late Reporting: If you did not report your injury in time, your claim can be denied. In Arkansas, under AR Code § 11-9-701, workers must report injuries to their employers immediately. There is an exception if you went for emergency treatment after your employer’s business hours. In that case, you must notify your employer by the next business day. In Oklahoma, under 85A Okla. Stat. § 85A-68, workers must give their employers oral or written notice of their injuries within 30 days.
- Late Filing: Your claim can also be denied if it was not filed within the limitations period. In Arkansas, you must file a claim within two years under AR Code § 11-9-701. However, that period may be shortened to one year in some cases. In Oklahoma, your claim must be filed within one year for injuries under 85A Okla. Stat. § 85A-69.
- Employer Dispute: Your claim may be denied if it is disputed by your employer. For example, your employer might claim that your accident resulted from engaging in horseplay or that it occurred outside of your job.
In addition, the nature of your injury and the evidence supporting it may cause your claim to be denied. Some types of injuries are difficult to prove, while others may lack evidence that they occurred during the victim’s work hours. Furthermore, some victims are denied coverage because they failed to seek medical care after being injured.
These are not the only reasons why your claim might be denied, but they may help you understand some of the common factors involved.
Of course, you’re still likely wondering, “What do I do if my workers’ comp claim is denied?”
Your Right to Appeal a Denial of Workers’ Compensation
After you have determined why your claim was denied, you can appeal the denial. Your denial letter should include information about how to file your appeal. You need to take note of the appeal deadline that is listed in your denial letter because if you fail to file your appeal by this deadline, your claim will be denied.
Appealing a denial of a workers’ compensation claim can be difficult. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can help you gather evidence and navigate the process. When you meet with your attorney, you should bring the denial letter and all relevant medical records. For example, you should bring along all information from medical examinations related to the injury as well as other recent medical examinations. In addition, you should bring documentation that you were working at the time of your injury. During your initial consultation, your attorney will review this evidence to help you determine the next steps to take to succeed with your claim.
Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
Receiving a denial of your workers’ compensation claim can be devastating. However, you do have the right to appeal. Working with an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook might improve the chances that you will ultimately prevail and receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your claim by calling 479-783-8000 or sending us a message online.