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3 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Winning Your Workers Compensation Appeal

Injured worker
If you received a work injury, you should be able to file a claim with your employer's workers compensation insurance and have them pay your claim. Unfortunately, this process is not always so simple.

Your employer or their insurance company can deny workers compensation claims for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, your claim does not stop there. You may be able to appeal their denial and get the benefits you are entitled to. Here are a few ways to increase your chances of winning the appeal.

1. Complete Your Appeal Within the Prescribed Time Frames

Approximately, 13% of workers compensation claims are denied because the claimants fail to file for benefits within prescribed time frames. Filing your appeal for your denial is no different. To be successful, you must meet the given timeframes. 

These time frames in Tennessee can range from 30 days to one year, depending on where you are with your claim. For example, you have one year if you file your initial petition for benefits determination. The year starts from the date of your initial accident, injury, or diagnosis, or from the last time you received authorized medical care or a benefits payment.

If you dispute an unresolved dispute that has already been to mediation, you will only have 60 days to request a hearing. If you appeal the judge's decision that comes from that hearing, you have 30 days to file an appeal with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board. Failure to meet any of these deadlines can result in you losing your appeal rights. 

2. Be Available for Additional Medical Testing

In Tennessee, you are entitled to see the doctor of your choice to receive your medical care, but you will have to be available to see a physician that your company chooses for a one-time exam. You, or your employer, can also request a second opinion if either of you disagrees with this physician's diagnosis or determination.

If your workers compensation claim has been denied due to insufficient medical information, documentation, or because your employer or their insurer feels that you are able to return to work, you may have to submit to an Independent Medical Examination (IME). Failure to participate in this exam may result in termination of your benefits.

Your IME will differ from other appointments in that it is a one-time evaluation. Your IME doctor should review your medical notes and documentation prior to your appointment, discuss your injury with you, and perform your examination.

Request a copy of the information sent to the IME physician, along with a copy of any correspondence or recommendations the physician makes back to the insurance company. You may be surprised to find that the paperwork contains inaccuracies that could have a significant bearing on your case.

3. Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney

Hiring an experienced workers compensation attorney will not only increase your chances of winning your disputed workers compensation case but can result in you receiving more than 40% more in benefits than you will if you attempt to handle your case alone.

Here at the Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Garrety, P.C., we understand how complex workers compensation cases are. We understand how emotionally and financially draining a work-related injury can be, and we want you to be fully compensated for any injuries you may have sustained. We will use our full range of knowledge and resources to work with you - and for you - to ensure that you get the outcome you desire.

Call us today so that we can begin working on your case quickly. We look forward to meeting with you.