When a work injury occurs and leaves an employee unable to work for a significant amount of time, the employee may feel anxious about obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Missing work for just a few days without being paid can be financially disastrous for many employees.
An employee’s anxiety could be intensified if he or she feels his or her employee is delaying the claim for some reason. That is why it is important to talk to a licensed Fresno workers’ compensation attorney who can help you determine the next steps you should take.
There are some common reasons why workers’ compensation claims may take longer than expected. For example, your employer may dispute whether your injury was work-related, particularly if the injury happened offsite. Claims involving aggravation of preexisting injuries or occupational diseases are also likely to be disputed.
It can be difficult to tell if your employer has legitimate issues with your workers’ compensation claim or is trying to delay the process hoping you will give up on continuing to pursue benefits. However, if your claim seems like an open-and-shut case, particularly if you were injured onsite, there were witnesses, and you reported it immediately, your employer could be delaying.
Sometimes employers are not intentionally delaying a claim. They simply do not notify their workers’ compensation insurer or take other steps they are required to take when a worker notifies them of an injury.
It is important to work with an experienced attorney with a history of results, whether your claim is being delayed or not. Employers and their workers’ compensation insurers often take claims much more seriously when they are dealing with an attorney instead of just the injured worker. If your lawyer has helped many workers obtain benefits, your employer or its insurance company will know your lawyer is prepared to appeal.
Sometimes it can take a little longer than usual to investigate an accident and review your medical records. This can be a legitimate reason for a delay, and your lawyer can help you figure out when there is a valid reason for a delay. An investigation of the aggravation of a preexisting injury or an occupational disease may also take longer.
Most applicants receive a decision within 90 days of the filing of their claim. However, that is without needing to file an appeal. If your lawyer needs to appeal it could take weeks or months to overturn the denial of your claim.
Berry, Smith & Bartell is prepared to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. That includes filing an appeal or filing the initial claim. We have decades of combined experience helping injured workers obtain benefits.
Learn more about how we may be able to assist you by scheduling a free legal consultation. There are no upfront fees for our services. We are only paid if you receive benefits.