If your workers’ compensation claim was denied in Indiana, you should appeal the denial. But you’ll need to act quickly. You must initiate the process within 30 days of receiving your denial or the date of receiving an award that you believe is too small based on the circumstances.
Read on to learn the process for disputing a workers’ compensation claim denial to avoid paying for your missed work and medical bills out of pocket.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Appeal Process
First, you’ll need to complete an Application for Adjustment of Claim. The workers’ compensation board will then assign your case to a Single Hearing Member of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
You’ll need to file that application within two years of your injury date or within 30 days of receiving notification of claim denial or claim reward that you believe is inadequate based on the circumstances.
The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board should notify you of your hearing date and location. Each side can request one continuance or a delay in holding that hearing.
You can go to this hearing without an attorney. However, your employer must have legal counsel, which means you’ll be facing a team with legal resources, making it more challenging for you to win your arguments without the same legal resources. It is wise to hire an attorney to guide you through this process and ensure that the hearing goes well.
During the hearing, each party will have a chance to present evidence, but the injured worker bears the burden of proof. That means that you’ll be responsible for demonstrating that your injuries took place during the normal course of your work.
Generally, medical evidence is a key piece of information in a workers’ compensation claim appeal case.
Once both parties have had a chance to present evidence, the Single Hearing Member will make a determination and serve an award. The award will outline what each party must do and will make conclusions based on the law.
If you are still not satisfied with the result, you can appeal the decision for a full board review by completing the Application for Review by Full Board. Just be sure you do this quickly as you must initiate it within 30 days of the award. The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board then has three months to hear your case.
What Happens During a Full Workers’ Compensation Board Hearing?
The hearing process for the full Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board will be much like the hearing with the Single Hearing Member. But you’ll have six Single Hearing Members as well as the Chairman present.
Once the board has heard all arguments and reviewed the evidence, it will write an award and present it to both parties.
At this point, you will have taken the appeal as far as you can with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana. Any further appeals will go through the Court of Appeals. And if that doesn’t resolve your claim, you’ll send the case to the Supreme Court of Indiana for a resolution.
Hopefully, you never need to take your workers’ compensation claim to the Court of appeals or Supreme Court of Indiana. Seeking a skilled Indiana workers’ compensation attorney will prevent you from facing claim denial in the first place.
A good workers’ compensation attorney knows how to tell a story and recreate an accident scene using evidence that compels an insurance company to compensate the injured worker appropriately.
The team at Stewart & Stewart is ready to evaluate your case and guide you to a fair resolution. Schedule your free consultation now for more information.