What If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

By Justin S. Eppler

When you get injured on the job or develop a work-related illness, you have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim in Alaska. When filing a workers’ comp claim against your employer’s insurance carrier, you hope that the process will be quick and straightforward so that you don’t have to worry about your inability to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, that is not how it works 100% of the time. Many workers’ compensation claims are denied by the insurance company. When you receive a notice of denial from the insurer, you may face a financial burden and experience a wide range of emotions.

If you filed a workers’ compensation claim and it was denied, consider speaking with our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC to discuss your options. Our Anchorage-based law firm represents injured workers and their families in all types of workers’ compensation cases, including denials and appeals. We are prepared to guide you through the appeals process to help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Reasons a Workers’ Compensation Claim May Be Denied

While the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim may be relatively straightforward, things can get complicated once your claim is denied. Reasons a workers’ comp claim may be denied vary from one case to another. Some of the most common reasons for denial include:

  • The injured worker failed to report the injury on time.

  • There are disputes regarding the origin of the injury (if the employer or insurance company disputes that the worker’s injury occurred at work).

  • The injury is not severe enough to merit a workers’ compensation claim.

  • The worker had a pre-existing condition.

  • The worker made a mistake when filing a claim.

  • The injury was not the result of the workplace accident.

No matter the reason your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have a right to appeal the denial of your claim. Consider contacting a skilled attorney to determine whether you should appeal the insurance company’s decision to deny your workers’ comp claim in Alaska.

Notice of Controversion

The notice of denial that you receive from the insurance company is known as a “Notice of Controversion.” Pay attention to the letter when you receive it. The notice usually includes the insurer’s explanation of why your workers’ compensation claim was denied.

Once you understand the reason for the denial, you and your attorney can prepare a winning strategy to fight for the benefits you deserve after your workplace accident.

Appealing the Decision

Just because your workers’ compensation claim was denied does not necessarily mean that your ability to receive compensation for your work-related injury or illness is completely lost. You still have a right to appeal the insurance company’s decision.

Once you receive a Notice of Controversion stating the reason for the denial, contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to determine the best course of action in appealing the denied claim. It is important to act quickly if your claim is denied. In Alaska, you only have two years from the date of your work-related injury to file an appeal to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board.

Accepting a Settlement

Your employer’s insurance carrier cannot force you to accept a settlement offer. No matter what your employer or the insurance adjuster may tell you, keep in mind a settlement is completely voluntary. You have a right to reject the insurance company’s offer and negotiate a higher settlement amount.

Once you accept the settlement, you will automatically lose your right to seek any future benefits. When determining whether you should accept a settlement, consider contacting an experienced attorney to review your particular situation. Your attorney will evaluate the scope of your disability and the prognosis for your condition when determining whether you should accept or reject the settlement.

Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC: Experience You Can Rely On

At the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC, our detail-oriented and dedicated attorneys have decades of experience representing injured workers in Anchorage and throughout Alaska. If your claim was denied, we are here to help you understand your options and pursue the benefits you deserve. Consult with our attorney to determine whether appealing a denied workers’ comp claim is right for you. We also represent injured workers and their families in Palmer, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Wasilla, Alaska.