Q My employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company denied my claim—what do I do now?
If you have been injured at work, you are facing an unbelievable amount of stress. Not only are you injured, but you are likely missing quite a bit of work. With medical bills on top of your household expenses, you may be wondering how to get by without an income.
While workers’ compensation benefits are meant to make this time in your life easier, occasionally your attempts to collect these benefits will be denied by either your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier your employer uses. One of your rights as an injured employee in New Jersey is the opportunity to appeal these denials and, with the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you may be able to get the benefits you were previously denied.
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process
If your claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits has been denied, the Division of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey offers you two options to appeal, either via an informal hearing or a formal hearing. These hearings are extremely complex legal proceedings, and if you have not yet found an attorney to represent you, it is highly recommended that you do so before moving forward with your appeal.
To file an appeal, you must do so within two years of your injury. If you are applying for an informal hearing, you will file an Application for an Informal Hearing to the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Within a few weeks, your attorney and the insurance company (or your employer) will meet for one or more hearings to assess your case.
A formal hearing will require that you file a Claim Petition, and the process will take much longer, as your hearing will take place in front of a judge. The judge will ultimately determine your fate after hearing testimony and considering evidence. If the judge rules against you, you can appeal at the state court level.
Which Method Is Right for You?
Each person’s case is unique, and it is always best to discuss your options with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. Regardless of the appeal path you choose, it is always best to have professional legal representation.
To schedule your free consultation with our firm today, simply call our office or fill out our short online contact form.