Mississippi employees who have been injured on the job often file workers’ compensation claims. Unfortunately, not all claims are accepted. If you believe yours was unfairly denied, you can take certain steps to appeal.
Reasons for denial of claims
There are different reasons for a workers’ comp claim denial. In many cases, this happens because the claim was filed too late. Filing as soon as possible could prevent this problem. Likewise, if the worker reports their injury to their supervisor too late, it might result in a denial of their workers’ compensation claim.
An employer might dispute an employee’s claim if it’s believed that the person’s injury occurred during off-work hours on their personal time or because they were behaving recklessly.
Workers’ comp claims are also often denied if the worker has failed to see a doctor for a medical evaluation and treatment.
Appealing a workers’ comp claim denial
If you were injured at work and filed a workers’ compensation claim that was later denied, you can appeal. The first step is to file a Petition to Controvert with the state’s workers’ compensation commission. Include the original petition plus three copies and file within two years of the date of your workplace injury.
After you’ve filed your petition, if the dispute isn’t settled with the insurance company, the next step is a hearing. This occurs before a workers’ compensation judge after the completion of the discovery process, during which both sides exchange and examine evidence and witnesses are questioned. At the end of this process, the judge issues a written decision.
If you’re dissatisfied with the judge’s decision about your claim, you can make a further appeal to the Full Commission. In this situation, you should file a petition within 20 days of the judge’s decision. The Full Commission will review all evidence and make a decision in writing.
You can also appeal through the court system if you disagree with the Full Commission. File your appeal within 30 days of the decision. Your case will be sent to the state Supreme Court.