There can be several reasons why workers' compensation claims are denied. To find out about a few common reasons why a denial might occur and what to do next, read below.
Your claim might be denied due to any of the following reasons:
- Failure to report the injury or file the claim on time: Workers' compensation laws have specific deadlines for reporting workplace injuries and filing claims. If an employee fails to report the injury within the required timeframe, the claim may be denied.
- Lack of evidence: Insufficient or inadequate documentation can lead to claim denials. It's important to provide detailed medical records, witness statements, and any other evidence supporting the claim to strengthen the case. In some cases, you can gather the needed evidence and refile your claim.
- Dispute over the cause of injury: Employers or insurance companies may dispute that the injury or illness is work-related. If they can establish that the injury did not occur in the course of employment, they may deny the claim. Don't give up at this point. Talk to an attorney about the rules for work-related injuries.
- Pre-existing conditions: If a worker had a pre-existing condition that is believed to be the primary cause of the injury or illness, the claim may be denied or limited. Some preexisting conditions, however, are covered.
- Violation of company policies: If the employee was engaged in misconduct or violated company policies at the time of the injury, the claim may be denied on the grounds of willful misconduct.
To improve the chances of a successful workers' compensation claim, applicants can take the following steps:
- Report the injury immediately: Notify the employer as soon as possible about the injury and ensure it is documented.
- Seek medical attention: Obtain proper medical treatment for the injury or illness and maintain detailed medical records of all diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions related to the work-related condition.
- Follow the prescribed procedures: Adhere to the workers' compensation procedures specified by your employer or state laws, including filing deadlines and paperwork requirements.
- Gather evidence: Collect and preserve any evidence related to the injury, such as photographs, witness statements, incident reports, and medical records, to support your claim.
- Consult an attorney: If your claim is denied, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. They can guide you through the appeals process and help protect your rights.
The laws and procedures for workers' compensation vary by state, so it's important to hire a workers' comp lawyer that is familiar with the regulations in your area. For help with your denied insurance claims, speak to a workers' compensation attorney right away.