01. Workers' Compensation Overview
Do I have to go to court for a Workers’ Compensation claim?
While not every workers’ compensation claim requires litigation, many injured workers do end up testifying in court at least once. The idea of appearing before a judge can be nerve racking, especially when you are already coping with a serious injury. However, at Fendon Injury Law we pride ourselves in going the extra mile to prepare our clients so they feel comfortable and confident in the courtroom.
Do I need to hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
The workers’ compensation system can be confusing and frustrating to say the least. If you are overwhelmed or unsure about the way your claim is going, it may be time to contact an attorney for help. You may also find yourself in a dispute with the insurance carrier which can only be resolved by going through formal litigation. Some common disputes that arise in workers’ compensation are claim denials, denials of treatment, and premature closure of a claim. If you are dealing with any of these issues, you should contact us right away.
How much does a Workers’ Compensation lawyer cost?
In many instances, a law firm can assist in securing benefits that you might not have otherwise obtained. There are also some instances in which a settlement can be reached with the assistance of an attorney. If you are contemplating if the cost is justified, set up a free consultation with our team to aid in your decision.
How long does the Workers’ Compensation process take?
This is a very common question from injured workers. The reality is that every claim is different so there is no easy way to answer. Some claims result in a quick settlement out of court while others go on for a rather prolonged period of time. There are many factors that determine how long a claim goes on for, but the most critical factor is typically the severity of the injury. In general, the more serious and complex the injury, the longer the claim will need to go on.
02. Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied
Why was my Workers’ Compensation claim denied?
Workers’ compensation claims can be denied for many reasons. For example, if you did not report the injury right away and there were no witnesses to your injury, the insurance carrier may dispute that you were injured at work. Other reasons for denial may be that your injury was deemed to be a pre-existing condition, your accident occurred away from the workplace, you are an independent contractor, your injury occurred from employee misconduct, or your claim wasn’t filed in time.
How do I file an appeal if my Workers’ Compensation claim is denied?
You will need to request a hearing within 90 days of the denial of your claim. You would need to request this hearing through the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA).
Who decides whether to approve or deny my Workers’ Compensation claim?
Your employer’s insurance company will ultimately make the decision to approve or deny your claim. Just because your claim is denied, doesn’t mean the process is over. You can appeal that denial by filing a Request for Hearing with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) within 90 days of the mailing date of the notice denying your claim.
03. Workers’ Compensation Hearing Process
What does the hearing process for Workers’ Compensations claims look like?
There are four major steps in the hearing process. You will have to request a hearing, go through the discovery process, submit medical evidence and eventually go through the actual hearing. You need to have an experienced attorney at your side to give you the best chance at overturning the original decision.
Do I need to provide evidence in the hearing process?
Yes. Both parties in the process will need to exchange evidence in the discovery process. Per Arizona law, you need to participate in the discovery process. Your attorney will help you through this process to put you in the best position possible.
When will the hearing be held?
Your hearing will take place 90 days after your case is referred to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You are required to be present for the hearing along with your attorney. You will be the first to testify to prove your case.
04. Choosing Workers’ Compensation Doctor
Should I go to my primary care doctor after a work injury?
Oftentimes, the first doctor you will see after being injured at work will be at a hospital or an urgent care. While your primary care doctor may be a good option to establish care, it may take too long to get an appointment. Additionally, depending on the nature of your injury, your care may eventually need to be transferred to a qualified specialist like an orthopedic surgeon.
How quickly should I go to the doctor after being injured at work?
You should see a doctor as soon as possible. It is very important to establish care and document that an injury took place. No matter who you see first, you should be sure to explain that you were injured at work.
Are my medical bills paid when being injured at work?
Assuming your claim is accepted, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should cover all medical bills related to your injury. This includes hospital visits, follow-up appointments with doctors, medical imaging, medications, etc.