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What happens if your workers' compensation claim is challenged?

Work injuries, especially for industrial and construction workers, can be devastating. These injuries are typically more serious and the recovery period is longer than with other job types. That is why workers' compensation is critical. In order to receive compensation, you must file a claim, but what happens if it is denied? This post will briefly discuss that process and what it means for you.

First, understand that your employer must provide you with sufficient information to file a claim. Additionally, you must tell your employer about the injury within 21 days of the accident. The insurer then has 21 days to approve or deny your claim.

If your claim is denied, then you have three years from the date of the injury to file a petition to contest the result. Once your petition is accepted, your case is assigned to a workers' compensation judge. Once the judge and county hear the claim is selected, all involved parties will receive notices on the date, time and location of the hearing.

The hearing is your opportunity to present evidence in support of your claim. Once the hearing concludes, the judge will render a decision. After the decision, you or the insurer may appeal. The case is then sent to the Appeals Board and, if there are more appeals, to the Commonwealth Court.

Hopefully your claim is approved and it is smooth sailing. But, if your claim is denied, then you may want to consult with a lawyer. Workers' compensation is critical to ensuring that your family can keep their home, pay the bills and buy food, especially if you are a big contributor to the family's income. This money will go toward medical bills and job re-training expenses if you are seriously injured.

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