After you sustain an injury at work, you have the right to file a worker’s compensation claim. However, there’s no guarantee that the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission will approve your request. If you believe a valid workers’ comp claim was denied, you can file an appeal with help from an experienced Maryland attorney.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney improves the likelihood that you will get full benefits for your work-related injury or illness. When you appeal, a workers’ compensation commissioner will determine whether you are entitled to benefits. The commissioner can deny your claim if they don’t believe your injury or illness is compensable. However, the important thing to know is that you have additional avenues to appeal.
Let’s look at why the commission denies some claims and how you can go about filing your appeal.
Why the Commission May Deny Your Workers’ Comp Claim
There are several reasons why you may be denied the compensation you want. Your employer, their insurer, or the workers’ comp commissioner can challenge your claim. Some of the reasons for denial include:
- Failure to file your claim with your employer or the Workers’ Compensation Commission within the required time
- A determination by your employer or their insurer that your injury or illness is not work-related.
- A clerical or procedural error on the claim forms
- An allegation that you deliberately hurt yourself or deliberately caused the incident that led to your injuries
- An allegation that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- The belief that you weren’t injured in the accident
Often claims get denied because workers try to handle things alone and make mistakes on their claim form. Unfortunately, even seemingly small errors can cost you. When you hire an experienced Maryland workers comp attorney, they will ensure you complete the form correctly.
How to Appeal a Denied Claim in Maryland
If your claim was denied by your employer or their insurer, you have recourse. The first step you should take is to submit an issues form to the Commission requesting a hearing. This form should also be sent to your employer or their workers’ comp insurance company.
A Commissioner will chair your hearing and listen to what both you and your employer have to say. Then, they will make a decision on whether you should receive benefits. If you are dissatisfied with the commissioner’s judgment, you can request another hearing. You must ask for that rehearing within 15 days of the decision by submitting a written request.
A new hearing is not automatic; the Commission decides whether it will grant one or not. It can be difficult to get a rehearing. Generally, rehearings are only granted if you have new evidence or the commissioner made a legal error. However, you can appeal to Circuit Court if you are denied a rehearing. You can also appeal to this court if you get a rehearing and lose.
You have 30 days from the date of the decision to file an appeal with the Circuit Court nearest to you. In Circuit Court, there is a presumption that the Commission made the right decision. You would have to prove why the decision was incorrect. If you lose your case at Circuit Court, you can appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You
If you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits, you should get them. An attorney can assist you in filing your appeal in a timely manner. They can also help you to persuade the commissioner that you are entitled to the benefits you claim. A skilled workers’ comp lawyer will assist you at every stage of the process we outlined above. As you can see, appealing a claim can be complicated. You need to know the procedures and rules associated with each stage. Therefore, an appeal is not something you want to handle on your own.
Contact the Skilled Workers’ Comp Attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC
No one wants to suffer an occupational injury or illness or miss out on wages. If you’re unwell and unable to earn an income, it can feel like a double blow. If you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits, you need to fight to ensure you get them. The Maryland personal injury lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC will assist you every step of the way. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn about what we can do for you.