Arbitration In Workers' Comp Cases: What Happens If You Win Or Lose?
In many workers' compensation cases, the employers' insurance companies review the claims and pay out. However, there are some instances in which claims are denied. Depending on the state in which you live, you can ask your employer's insurance company to settle the matter through arbitration. If you are heading to arbitration, here is what you need to know.
What Happens in Arbitration?
In arbitration, you and your employer's insurance company have the opportunity to argue your sides of the issue. Both of you have the right to present evidence to the arbitrator to consider. After the arbitrator has heard everything you and the insurance company have to say about the workers' compensation claim, the arbitrator makes a decision.
If the arbitrator rules in your favor, you can start to receive workers' compensation benefits. However, if the arbitrator sides with your employer's insurance company, there is the possibility that this was your last chance to get benefits.
Can You Appeal the Decision?
Whether or not you can appeal the decision of the arbitrator depends largely on the workers' compensation rules of your state. If you live in a state in which appeals are allowed, you can file an appeal according to the law. Some states have an appeals process setup through the labor board, while others force you to go through the state's courts.
If you live in a state in which there are no appeals and the arbitrator's decision is considered to be legally binding, you have no choice but to live with the decision of the arbitrator.
How Do You Appeal?
If an appeal is allowed in your state, time is of the essence. When the arbitrator renders a decision, he or she will inform you of what steps you can take to appeal the decision. If it is through the state's court, your attorney needs to file the necessary paperwork with the court as soon as possible.
If your state requires you to go through a process through the state's labor board, you might have to present your case in front of an appeals committee. If so, you need to be prepared to prove why you deserve to receive benefits. Your attorney can help you shape your case based on the facts and the reason the arbitrator cited for not siding with you.
Since the laws concerning arbitration and workers' compensation benefits can vary from state to state, you need to contact a practicing workers comp lawyer, such as those at Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co LPA, who will be familiar with your state's laws before proceeding with your case.