Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision in Weld County
Seeking compensation for your work-related injury could be an exhaustive process. From being on top of deadlines to providing sufficient evidence, filing an injury claim could be overwhelming to do on your own.
A seasoned lawyer could provide much-needed support and assistance when appealing a workers’ compensation decision in Weld County. Consider reaching out to a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney near you and see what options might be possible for you as you fight for your recovery.
Prehearing Conferences and Dispute Resolution Methods
After a claim for workers’ compensation is denied by an insurance company, typically through a “Notice of Contest,” an injured worker may request a formal hearing to resolve the issue by filing an Application for Hearing with the Office of Administrative Courts. Injured claimants, employers, and adjusters may enter prehearing and settlement conferences to attempt to resolve the issues before the formal hearing. A prehearing conference, conducted by an administrative law judge, would be held to handle issues that must be addressed prior to the formal hearing.
Issues of substance, such as whether the worker is entitled to receive compensation, would not be handled at a prehearing conference. Issues like the ability to access to past medical records and other evidentiary and procedural issues are more likely to be handled during a prehearing conference. The idea is to get the less substantive matters out of the way to better prepare and efficiently execute the formal hearing.
Settlement conferences may also be conducted upon request by either party. An administrative law judge would act as a mediator to help the parties agree on the substantive issues. An administrative law judge could also serve as an arbitrator to decide a case, but under an arbitration, workers would not have the option of appealing a decision on their workers’ compensation in Weld County.
Appealing the Decision in Weld County
What Happens at a Formal Hearing?
At the formal hearing, an administrative law judge would decide on all the substantive issues. These decisions might include whether the worker is entitled to receive benefits, as well as any other issues that may affect liability and the amount of compensation to be paid. Parties would present evidence, including testimony and documents to the court. There is no jury present during the trial. Failure to attend the formal hearing may result in delaying the decision on the claim, an unfavorable decision, or a full-on dismissal of the claim.
What is the Appeal Process for Denied Workers’ Comp Claims?
If the judge rules unfavorably and denies the claim, a worker may challenge their written order by filing an appeal. Those seeking to appeal must file a “Petition to Review” within 20 days from the date the judge’s order is mailed to the parties. Petitions to review must be submitted in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes §8-43-301. The petition should be filed with the Office of Administrative Courts that is listed on the order to be appealed, and a copy should be mailed to the insurance company’s attorney.
Following filing the appeal of the workers’ compensation decision in Weld County, briefs are prepared and submitted by both parties, detailing the grounds for objecting or affirming the order, and the evidence that supports their position. The Industrial Claim Appeals Office would review the case, and a judge or Appeals Panel has 60 days to decide on the appeal.
How an Attorney Could Assist You in Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision in Weld County
If the judge denies your workers’ compensation claim, it would seem like you have lost the battle. But the war may not be lost. That is why the system allows for appeals, to give you a second chance to prove that your claim might be worthy of receiving compensation.
Appealing a workers’ compensation decision in Weld County could be overwhelming without an attorney. The deadlines, evidentiary requirements, and presentation of your case could be a lot to handle. Call now and get started on your appeal today.