How Long do Workers’ Comp Appeals Take?
If you are injured on the job in California, you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. If, however, the insurance provider or your employer disputes your claim, either as to the amount of coverage or as to whether you are entitled to any coverage at all, you have the right to challenge their findings. It is actually quite common to have your workers’ comp claims initially denied. Knowing that you have the right to appeal a denial may be cold comfort when you are struggling financially and need the coverage as soon as possible. Below, we discuss just how long a workers’ comp appeal is likely to take. Speak with an experienced Arcadia workers’ compensation lawyer if you or a loved one has been hurt on the job in Los Angeles or the Inland Empire.
Application for Adjudication
If your claim was denied or if you were unable to reach a settlement with your workers’ comp claims administrator, you can file an application for adjudication with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). You have one year from the date of the injury, the date medical treatment stopped, or the last day you received workers’ comp benefits to file your application of adjudication.
Your employer may file an answer to your application within ten days. Both sides must undertake settlement negotiations. Both sides must file Declarations of Readiness to go to a hearing. Within 30 days of the declarations being filed, a settlement conference will be held, and within 75 days of the filing of the Declarations, the court will hold a hearing. Within 30 days of a contested hearing, the judge will issue a decision.
Appealing the WCAB Decision
If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you can file a Petition for Reconsideration with the WCAB within 20 days of the date you either received your decision or your award (or 25 days from the date of decision if you received the decision by mail). The appeals board has 60 days to either accept or deny your petition. Typically, this decision will be rendered without a hearing. If they do nothing after 60 days, consider your petition denied.
Appealing to the State Appeals Court
If your petition is denied, you can then request a writ of review of the state appeals court. You have 45 days from the date of the denial (or, if they do reconsider, 45 days from the new decision) to seek state court review. The state appeals court cannot actually award you benefits, but they can send your case back to the WCAB for reconsideration.
Get Help from an Arcadia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt on the job in Southern California, get help securing the insurance coverage and other money damages you deserve for your injuries. Contact the dedicated and effective Arcadia workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Dulio R. Chavez II and Associates for a free consultation at 626-357-3303.