Hearings and Appeals for Denied Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Claims
Skilled Oklahoma City injury lawyers answer your questions
Workers’ compensation is a program administered by the state of Oklahoma which employers with even one part-time employee must offer their employees with a few exceptions. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program which provides no-fault compensation for temporary disability, medical, rehabilitation and death benefits for workers who are killed while doing their job. Workers who sustain job-related injuries or are diagnosed with an occupational disease have access to immediate benefits in exchange for not filing a negligence lawsuit against their employer.
Sometimes, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will deny a legitimate claim initially, which leaves the worker who was injured while doing their job wondering how they will pay the medical bills, and you are losing time at work and wondering how you are going to pay the bills are piling up. The Oklahoma City worksite injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears are here to help injured workers obtain the benefits they have earned. You are welcome to call and discover how we can be helpful to you.
What is the process for appealing a denied Oklahoma workers’ compensation claim?
It is important to know that just because your claim has been denied, it does not mean that you are not entitled to benefits. If you injured yourself at work or have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you can file an appeal immediately. Oklahoma workers’ compensation rules require that you file the appeal within one year of the injury or incident, and for occupational illness you have two years to file a request for hearing.
Oklahoma uses an administrative process for handling workers’ compensation appeals. You will attend a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) where you will have the opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses. This is where it can be helpful to have workers’ compensation attorney on your side. The ALJ will rule on your case.
If you are not satisfied with the ALJ’s ruling, you can file an appeal within ten days and a three-judge panel will hear your case. If you want to appeal the case further, you may be assigned to work with a mediator to resolve the dispute and reach a settlement, but you also have 20 days to appeal your case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
What if I can’t afford to pay for a workers’ compensation lawyer?
While you are never required to avail yourself of the services of an attorney, your employer’s insurance company will have a lawyer. This will put you at a disadvantage especially if you do not know anything about how to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, your first step to appealing a denied workers’ comp claim is to call a lawyer you trust.
Besides – you will never have to pay up front for the services of an Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorney, because these cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that your lawyer does not collect a fee unless you receive benefits. Once your case is complete, the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission must first approve your lawyer’s fees, which will be paid as a percentage of the benefits they are able to recover on your behalf.
Your initial consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer is free. They will discuss you case and determine whether to pursue it.
Have you sustained a workplace injury? Call us to learn more about your options
At Cunningham & Mears, we offer the help you need after a workplace injury or an occupational illness. If we are unable to represent you, we will refer you to a workers’ comp attorney who will take care of you. You are welcome to discover how we help injured clients by contacting us or calling 405-232-1212 today for a free initial consultation today.