What should I do if I disagree with a workers’ compensation award in California?

construction worker cementing bricks

Regardless of your profession, there is always a potential risk of accidents and injuries. An office job can be just as dangerous as a construction job due to negligence. Workers who get hurt or sick because of their job can file a workers’ compensation claim to seek benefits to cover the damages they’ve incurred. Unfortunately, a workers’ compensation claim may be denied despite sustaining work-related injuries, or the award may be insufficient. Injured parties often wonder whether they can appeal a workers’ compensation decision in such cases. Please continue reading to learn what to do if you disagree with a workers’ compensation award and how our trusted Santa Clara County Construction Accident Attorneys can help you today. 

What is workers’ compensation?

Under California law, employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. Employees do not contribute compensation to their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance provides employees who fall ill or become injured while on the job with various benefits. This may include temporary and permanent disability benefits for medical care, wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, and numerous other benefits. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must file a claim and prove that your injuries or illness were work-related.

Can I appeal a workers’ compensation decision in California?

If you have suffered an injury or fall directly from your job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. After you’ve filed your claim, within 30 days of reporting your injuries, your employer’s insurer will send you a letter notifying you whether your claim was approved for workers’ compensation coverage. If the claims administrator sends you a letter denying your claim or you believe the amount of your worker’s compensation award is insufficient, you have a right to challenge the decision. There are numerous reasons why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied, including the insurance company believing your injury is too minor, or it was not work-related.

If you disagree with their decision, you can file an appeal. To have your case heard by a judge, you must file your appeal through an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. However, you can only appeal a workers’ compensation decision if there is new evidence, evidence does not support the decision, or fraudulent activity is involved. Although you have the right to file an appeal, the court can deny your request. You may file a Writ Review with the California Court of Appeals in such cases.

As you can see, the appeal process can be challenging to navigate. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Allow our dedicated attorneys from the Law Offices of Brian J. J. O’Grady to fight on your behalf to help you seek the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled for the damages you’ve incurred. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.