When you’re injured on the job in Missouri, you’re likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. Most companies are required to carry this kind of insurance coverage to compensate injured workers when they get hurt in the course of their employment.

While workers’ compensation coverage revolves around a no-fault structure—which means you do not have to prove that your employer was negligent to get benefits—this system is not set up to protect workers or their interests. Even a small detail absent from your application could completely derail your claim and result in a denial.

A St. Louis workers’ compensation appeals lawyer can review the initial reason for your denial and help you follow the proper procedures to launch a compelling appeal. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at OnderLaw can manage the complexities of this system on your behalf to seek the most positive results and a maximum payout of benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Denials

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to pay for your medical bills and part of your lost wages related to the injury you sustained while on the job. In a successful workers’ compensation claim, and depending on the nature of your injury and the extent to which it prevents you from working, you could get one of multiple forms of disability benefits. These benefits could be for:

  • Temporary partial disability – your injury temporarily makes you unable to perform certain aspects of your job description
  • Temporary total disability – your injury temporarily makes you unable to perform any aspects of your job description
  • Permanent partial disability – your injury permanently makes you unable to perform certain aspects of your job description
  • Permanent total disability – your injury permanently makes you unable to perform meaningful work at all

Multiple factors can impact the amount of workers’ compensation you may be entitled to receive, including:

  • The kind of injury you have
  • The severity of your injury
  • The impact of your injury on your job performance
  • The duration and cost of your medical care
  • Whether or not your injury inflicts a temporary or permanent disability

Given the extensive evidence required to support a claim for workers’ comp benefits, it is extremely common for first-time applications to be denied outright if even the smallest detail is missing. It doesn’t help matters that insurance carriers or employers will often try to deny or devalue claims as a course of habit, either. However, there are some common reasons for a workers’ compensation claim to be denied that may require you to contact a St. Louis attorney for assistance in filing an appeal. Incomplete or late paperwork is a common reason for denial. While Missouri law gives you two years to file a workers’ compensation claim, you have to notify your employer so they can get the case process started no later than 30 days from the injury.

If you didn’t report the injury to your employer right away, your employer disputes the fact that your injury happened at work, or the insurance company thinks your injury is connected to a pre-existing condition, they could deny your claim. Lack of medical evidence or even small differences between your initial report and subsequent claim could lead to a swift denial of benefits.

Launching a Workers’ Compensation Appeal

If your claim has been denied, the next step you need to take is to contact one of our trusted St. Louis workers’ compensation appeals attorneys for help with your case. It is extremely beneficial to have legal assistance from the earliest stages of your claim. Trying to navigate the appeals process without legal representation can be frustrating and deeply complicated. Your case may go through a series of hearings and even through the court system, depending on the facts and issues involved. In addition to collecting evidence to bolster your case and remedy any issues with your initial application, our diligent lawyers at OnderLaw can call witnesses, speak with medical experts, and gather other vital information to support the strongest possible claim.

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can submit a Request for Review to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. However, you must do so no later than 20 days from when you receive the notice that your claim was denied. When you submit the Request for Review, this initiates a formal review process. Depending on what happens during this stage, the case may go to mediation, which can help facilitate negotiation resolution outside of a courtroom setting. Should the case fail to resolve in the mediation setting, there are multiple layers to the appeal process. You will want a reliable attorney by your side at the pre-hearing conference as well as at the formal hearing before the judge. If this hearing does not resolve in your favor, you can go still further but you must appeal the judge’s ruling within 20 days. Then, the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission would review the case.

There are other appeals options even beyond this stage, not only at the Missouri Court of Appeals level but, in some cases, up to the state Supreme Court. The appeals process is not only intricate but time-consuming. You need a lawyer on your side who is deeply familiar with this process. The legal team at OnderLaw can handle the entire appeals process on your behalf so you can focus on your healing and recovery process while we work towards the most favorable resolution of your claim.

Reach Out to a St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Appeals Attorney

We frequently see denials in workers’ compensation cases, whether because the employer says the injury is unrelated to work or the insurance company simply rejects the claim. Our OnderLaw workers’ compensation attorneys can fight to get you the benefits you need for your recovery.

We can protect your rights while ensuring you don’t fall victim to the common tactics insurance companies and employers use to deny claims. Call OnderLaw today to speak with an experienced and trusted workers’ compensation attorney about your case so we can get to work starting your appeal as soon as possible.