Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision in Norcross

Being injured due to a work-related accident is unfortunate enough, but losing a Workers’ Compensation claim only adds insult to injury. Rest assured that any worker that is dissatisfied with the status of their Workers’ Compensation decision may be eligible to file an appeal.

A Workers’ Compensation attorney in Norcross can help you evaluate your claim and obtain injury benefits through the appellate process.

Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Denial

In Norcross, workers have twenty days to appeal the final award or order to the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Appellate Division, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 34-9-103. There, an appeal will be submitted to appellate administrative law judges for review and consideration. Unlike a formal hearing where parties appear and testify personally, appeals are typically decided only by brief. This can present an issue for the charismatic worker as one’s writing skills and logic will be assessed. In rare circumstances, the Appeals Board will hear oral arguments, but this still differs from the typical Workers’ Compensation Hearing: with only five minutes to argue an appellate oral argument, the time to persuade is limited, calling into question the efficacy of the oral argument in this process.

A formal appeal still has strict guidelines. Failing to adhere to these time requirements could result in the appeal being waived.

Presenting a Claim for Reconsideration

When presenting a claim for reconsideration, one must first develop a strategy for the reargument. The first step is to determine why the insurer initially denied the Workers’ Compensation claim for benefits. In some cases, the denial rests on the mistaken omission of a document or typographical error. Before filing the appeal, there is always the possibility of asking for a reconsideration of a denied claim. If the remedy is simple enough, the application may be resubmitted in limited circumstances.

Utilizing an attorney should be mandatory when filing an appeal, but it is optional. An attorney’s assistance is paramount to preparing the appeal. The appellate administrative law judges will not have the benefit of meeting the parties, observing the first Workers’ Compensation hearing, or asking questions regarding the case. Rather, the appellate administrative law judges will rest their decision virtually entirely on the brief itself.

For a Workers’ Compensation appeal, the brief presents a second, and often final, opportunity for the accident victim to present their case and argue why they should be entitled to benefits. The brief is limited to the evidence presented in the record and the parties’ arguments. Utilizing an attorney’s services for the first hearing is critical for the appeal because evidence that was left out the first time will be ineligible for consideration by the appellate administrative law judges.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Appeal Your Decision

If your claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits was denied, you should consider the benefits of meeting with an attorney to discuss your case and plan how to proceed with an appeal. Your attorney will review the hearing notes, develop an action plan, and help you determine whether your case is eligible for an appeal. Your attorney may decide that your case requires additional work, such as the evaluation by an independent doctor or the subpoenaing of further medical evidence to support your claim. If you were the victim of a workplace accident, contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Norcross to start your appeal today.