Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision in Raleigh
When a person experiences an injury through his or her job, it can greatly impact his or her life physically, emotionally, and economically. It can be upsetting to have your workers’ compensation decision denied, and you may not be sure what next steps to take. For this reason, having an experienced Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in your case, especially as you look to appeal a compensation decision. An attorney will bring his or her legal acumen to the table, and will provide a vast amount of useful knowledge as you pursue your case.
Denial of Compensation
A workers’ compensation decision in Raleigh, North Carolina can be denied for a variety of reasons. One of the two most common factors is the lack of credibility of the witness, or the injured worker if there are no witnesses. In a situation where the injured worker is the only witness to the event that caused the accident, he or she testifies before the Industrial Commission, also known as the deputy commission, and the judge decides the claim. The deputy commission may find that that injured person is not credible, and therefore does not award them benefits.
The other most common way benefits are denied at the deputy commission is when there is no causation between the accident and the injury. A doctor must testify that the accident had caused the injury that is keeping the injured worker from working.
Immediately upon getting an unfavorable decision, a person should consider appealing that decision, in which case they need to speak with an attorney to better understand their appellate options.
Consulting a Lawyer
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help an injured worker appeal a decision by martialing together all the facts and evidence that are important for the judge to consider for any type of appeal of the decision. Medical records and medical evidence are very important on appeals for causation. It is imperative to speak with an experienced attorney who has participated in hearings and has appealed cases to the full commission, the next level before deciding what to do about your claim.
The appeal process for a denied workers’ compensation claim looks like filing a notice of appeal. The deputy commissioner is the front line of making the initial decisions. If you do not like the decision from the deputy commissioner, either from the defendant side or the plaintiff side, it can be appealed to the full commission.
At that point, you would go the Court of Appeals. There are two levels of appeals beyond the deputy commissioner level.
Ensuring a Claim is Successful
The central pieces needed to ensure that a workers’ compensation claim is successful is good medical evidence, a clear and concise testimony as to what happened, written records of what happened, and credible witnesses. These pieces are significant because they show that the injured worker is being honest in their case, and that they truly experienced a problematic injury in which they deserve proper compensation.