After getting seriously injured on the job, you probably will need medical treatment to get better. Besides your doctor, you might need to visit physical therapists, occupational therapists and other experts to reduce your pain and regain your physical abilities.
These treatments are very expensive. Workers’ compensation is a financial lifeline for Minnesotans with work-related injuries that need medical care. But the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage for Minnesota businesses often deny legitimate claims. Or they offer a settlement amount that is far less than what the worker needs to pay their medical bills.
Fortunately, you don’t have to accept a rejected claim or lowball dollar amount. You have the right to appeal your workers’ comp claim.
Appealing the result of your workers’ comp claim
The first level of appeal is to the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. The OAH will schedule a settlement conference facilitated by a Compensation Judge. Here, the two parties will discuss a resolution to the dispute. Many workers’ comp disputes end in a settlement at this stage. The OAH also offers mediation services.
If neither the settlement conference or mediation settles your case, you and representatives of your employer and the insurance company will attend a hearing before a Compensation Judge, which is similar to a trial. Each side can bring witnesses to testify, and attorneys for the other side can cross-examine them. The parties submit documents and other evidence to the Compensation Judge to support their case. Each side may get to make an opening and closing statement.
After hearing the evidence at the hearing, the Judge will issue a decision about how much compensation the worker is entitled to. If the worker does not like the result, they can appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
Your attorney will guide you through your appeal to ensure your case is as complete as possible.