If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, do not give up. You may still be able to get the benefits you deserve. Virginia workers’ compensation laws provide a multi-step appeals process. You may have several opportunities to provide additional evidence, including witness testimony, to strengthen your claim.
The workers’ compensation appeals process may include a series of hearings if necessary. They are conducted according to rules of evidence and courtroom procedure. You do not have to be represented by a lawyer, but employers and insurers that oppose a claim will likely have one or more lawyers working for them.
The Richmond workers compensation attorneys at Geoff McDonald & Associates can level the playing field. We have helped hundreds of people just like you get the workers’ comp benefits they need and have already earned.
Let us help you appeal a denied Virginia workers’ compensation claim. We can make sure your claim documents are complete and accurate, and that they make a strong case for awarding you benefits. Contact us now for a free claim review.
Appealing a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Decision
Don’t give up on your workers’ compensation claim if it has been denied. It is not unusual for an initial claim to be rejected. Sometimes it is for technical reasons or because something is missing from the large amount of information the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission requires.
If your initial workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you should file a written request for a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within 30 days of the date on your denial notice.
Your appeal will be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge who will hear evidence from you and from your employer or the insurer. This is a formal proceeding similar to a court hearing. Testimony will be taken under oath, and witnesses can be cross-examined. The judge will issue a written decision within a few weeks of the hearing.
For a successful hearing you should:
- Have new evidence beyond what was in your original benefits application to support your claim. What will you say or show to convince the judge that the initial denial of your claim was a mistake? Can you identify any problems with your original application, and do you know how to correct them?
- Be ready to testify and answer questions your employer’s attorney asks. This won’t be the first time your employer’s attorney has questioned a witness. It won’t be his or her first workers’ compensation hearing, either. Will you be ready to help your claim under this type of questioning?
- Be ready to ask witnesses questions that will bring answers that help your claim. Have you ever questioned a witness in a courtroom setting?
- Make sure you attend all doctors’ or therapists’ appointments. To remain eligible for workers’ compensation, you must continue to receive treatment for your injury as recommended by your assigned doctor. Do you have time and energy to compile an appeal on top of doctors’ appointments and other day-to-day obligations despite being injured?
If you disagree with the workers’ compensation judge’s ruling, there are additional levels of appeal available. At each level, the hearing is a bit more formal than the previous one. You have 30 days from the date of that court’s ruling to appeal to the next level.
The appeals process includes hearings before the:
- Full Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Virginia Court of Appeals.
- Supreme Court of Virginia.
An appeal to the Supreme Court is a request to be heard, which must be made in writing. The court may decline to hear your case.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a legal matter. Legal training that includes experience with Virginia’s workers’ compensation law and specific claim cases may go a long way toward mounting a successful appeal of a denied claim.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, our attorneys and case managers have the experience required to successfully appeal a denied workers’ comp claim.
Need Help Appealing a Denied Comp Claim?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied in Virginia, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates as soon as possible.
Geoff McDonald & Associates can help you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim in Virginia. We know how insurance companies work to deny injured workers the benefits they deserve, and we know how to stop them from doing it.
Call us or fill out our online contact form now to find out how we can help you appeal a workers’ comp ruling. The initial consultation is free and has no strings attached.