A Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim Leaves Employee Feeling Snakebit

BusinessInsurance.com reports that a Virginia woman was recently bitten by a baby copperhead snake. The snake attack occurred while the woman was heading outside on her lunch break at work.

Copperhead snake bites can be vicious. In fact, the bite from this baby copperhead left the woman in the hospital for three days and required her to take very expensive anti-venom.

Unfortunately, the victim was also soon in for a rude surprise from the insurance company: her workers’ compensation application was denied. A representative from the insurance company stated that the denial was based on the facts of the claim and their interpretation of Virginia’s workers’ compensation law.

Getting bit by a snake on the job is bad enough. Getting bit by the insurance company is all that much worse.

Can the Insurance Company Really Do That?

Insurance companies have the power to deny workers’ compensation claims for many different reasons. Workers’ compensation benefits are not granted automatically. Ultimately, each work injury claim requires a detailed and fact-specific review of the circumstances.

However, it must be noted that the insurance company does not have the final call. In fact, insurers have been known to deny many valid workers’ compensation claims for illegitimate reasons.

The five most common reasons that claims get denied are:

  1. A simple error in the application
  2. The application being filed after the deadline
  3. Disagreement over whether the worker was “on the clock”
  4. A dispute over whether the injury is even real
  5. A dispute over the severity of the injury

Was Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?

If so, you need to take immediate action to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Many workers’ compensation claims are wrongly denied. This may have happened in your case. You owe it to yourself and to your family to find out.

Specifically, the following is a list of the four things that you need to do next to protect claim and your appeal rights:

  1. Understand the denial. You should have received an official letter from the insurance company stated the exact reason(s) why your claim was denied. You need to review this letter and be sure that you understand the contents. Workers’ compensation claims can be denied for a wide variety of reasons and you cannot fix the problem until you know why it happened in your case.
  2. Contact an attorney. If your claim has been denied, you should not proceed on your own. Work injury cases are notoriously complex. You need to get your case into the hands of an experienced local workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you receive your denial letter.
  3. File your appeal. Your attorney will help file an appeal in accordance with the law in your state. Most states have strict timelines for workers’ compensation appeals, so it is imperative that you act fast.
  4. Seek a medical evaluation. Many workers’ compensation claims are denied because of questions about the severity of the injury. If that happened in your case, your attorney may suggest that you get yourself an independent medical evaluation.

Don’t hesitate to act quickly if you have been injured on the job – whether by a snakebite or something more typical. By working expeditiously, you will help ensure that your claim will be approved so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve.