Depending on the circumstances, injured employees may have other compensation options than workers' comp. Still, the state program is the most common source of help after a work-related injury or illness. Without workers' comp or consulting a lawyer to learn about their options, many injured workers pay for expensive work-related injury treatment out of their own pockets.
If your workers' compensation claim was rejected, don't lose hope. This is not the end of the road. You still may have many options to recover damages. We can help.
Our experienced workers' compensation attorneys are on your side
At Tabor Law Firm, P.A., we are ready to take on the workers' compensation system for you. For more than 30 years, our attorneys have fought back against unjust claim rejections and short-changed benefit offers.
Our Mississippi workers' compensation lawyers do not accept flimsy claim rejections. We do not settle for less than your claim is worth. That's why we litigate most of the workers' compensation claims we handle.
Was your Mississippi workers' compensation claim rejected? Contact us for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team can answer your work injury-related questions and explain your compensation options. Our workers' compensation lawyers serve Greater Jackson and all of Mississippi. We don't give up. Instead, we hunker down and take aggressive action to recover your benefits.
Reasons why workers' compensation claims are denied
An employer or insurance adjuster will use any excuse to save money and avoid responsibility. Reasons why hard workers with injuries have their claims denied include:
- The injury was reported too late. Mississippi gives you 30 days from a work accident to report an injury to your employer. If you miss this deadline, your opportunity to collect damages may be closed.
- Your claim was filed too late. Depending on your circumstances, the statute of limitations to file your claim may be a lot shorter than the standard 2-year statute of limitations. Our law firm can determine what it will take to meet deadlines and fulfill your workers' comp claim application requirements.
- Insufficient proof of injury. Injuries like generalized neck and back pain, pulled muscles, mental health disorders, and illnesses are among the most difficult injuries to prove were caused by work. An experienced workers' comp lawyer with a successful track record winning these types of claims can increase your chances of success.
- You never sought medical treatment. Always see a doctor for a thorough medical examination after a work accident or if you suspect a work illness. If you do not seek treatment, an adjuster will argue that your injuries are "not that bad," no matter how debilitating your pain is.
- Employer challenges claim. Even though workers' compensation is a no-fault system, employers may still try to deny your claim by saying that your injury was pre-existing, due to your own extreme "reckless" behavior, happened outside of work, or was not sustained in the commission of work duties, among other excuses. They may also challenge your employment status. Independent contractors, for example, may not be entitled to workers' comp.
Tabor Law Firm, P.A., can keep your claim moving forward after rejection. We have a deep understanding of the rules and regulations that govern Mississippi workers' compensation. As a result, our workers' compensation attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in benefits for injured employees.
Appealing a Mississippi workers' compensation claim rejection
Your employer's insurance provider typically administers workers' comp benefits. The employer or insurer may reject applications. If your workers' compensation claim is denied, a review and appeals process is available for relief. Here's how it works.
- Petition to Controvert. After a denial, you can request a review by filing a "Petition to Controvert" with the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission (MWCC). Depending on the circumstances, the hearing request must be filed within 1 or 2 years of when you were injured.
- Negotiate to settle. Once a petition is received, the case is assigned a workers' compensation administrative judge, also known as an A.J. or ALJ. You and your employer's insurer file written responses. The responses may provide new insight into the case that rekindles negotiations, leading to a settlement. However, if an agreement is not reached, the hearing proceeds.
- Hearing. At the hearing, your lawyer and the insurance company will present their arguments, question witnesses, and offer evidence to the judge. Depending on the case, a hearing could continue for a few days or months.
- Petition the Commission for review. Once the judge decides, you will be notified in writing. You can appeal if the judge does not rule in your favor. To do so, within 20 days of the decision, you must file a petition for review with the full MWCC. Typically, the three-member commission will review the case and make their decision without a hearing.
- File an appeal. If the commission does not rule in your favor, you can appeal their decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court (MSC). An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the commission's decision to be considered. The MSC typically refers such cases to the Mississippi Court of Appeals (MCA). If you disagree with the MCA's decision, you could appeal to the MSC, but that's a long shot. The supreme court chooses the cases it hears and rarely takes up workers' comp appeals. Often, the MCA is the final decision.
Was your claim rejected? Are you ready to fight back?
Most employers and insurance companies are only interested in paying you as little as possible for your injuries and recovery. That's why the Jackson workers' compensation attorneys at Tabor Law Firm, P.A., litigate most of the claims we handle. We would rather invest more of our own time and resources than accept less than you deserve. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the complex claims process and gather the documentation you need to prove your case.
Many injured workers worry about how much it costs to have legal representation. Our services are provided for a contingency fee. That means there is no upfront or out-of-pocket expense to you. Our fee is a percentage of the award. So if we don't win, you don't pay.
If your claim for benefits was rejected, or if you are about to apply for benefits, talk to one of our dedicated attorneys. Contact us today for a free consultation.