So you've been injured on the job and you need money. This is completely understandable given the difficult position you're in. At a time when you are physically unable to work and earn your living, you may be hit with hefty, unexpected medical bills.
Confronting these matters can be intimidating, but most Nebraska residents think that the workers' compensation system is easy enough to navigate. They might therefore pursue a workers' compensation claim on their own, which oftentimes results in a denied claim.
There are a number of reasons why a workers' compensation claim may be denied. It may be determined that your injury wasn't suffered or exacerbated while at work, or it may be found that you didn't notify your employer of your injury quickly enough. Regardless of why your claim was denied, though, you need to be prepared for the next steps. After all, you have the right to appeal the denial of your claim.
In order to appeal the denial of your claim, you need to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the denial. Shortly thereafter, the clerk at the lower level court will gather the record to forward to the court of appeals. Then, you'll have the opportunity to present arguments as to why your claim was wrongfully denied.
On appeal, you'll need to show one of a number of things:
- The workers' compensation court that originally adjudged the claim acted beyond its powers;
- The court's ruling was obtained through fraud;
- The evidence in the record fails to support the court's judgment; or
- The findings of fact issued by the workers' compensation court fails to support its conclusion
So what does all of this mean for you? It means that if your workers' compensation claim is denied and you want to appeal, you need to act quickly. Not only do you need to file your appeal within 30 days, but you also need to be diligent about crafting your legal strategy on appeal. This may mean gathering more documentation and witnesses, assessing case law, and developing the arguments needed to convince the appellate court that you are entitled to benefits.
This is no small task. After all, in many of these workers' compensation cases there is a lot of evidence to sift through. But you don't want to leave your financial future to chance by rushing through the claims process, including an appeal. Therefore, you may want to consider whether legal help is right for you. A competent attorney can help you fight for what you deserve so that, hopefully, you can secure the resources you need to be able to focus on your recovery and getting back to work.