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Bay Areas Workers' Compensation Appeals

Assisting Injured Workers in Challenging Their Claims Decision

Regrettably, a significant number of workers' compensation claims are initially denied. However, this does not mean that you are left without recourse. Injured workers have the right to appeal if they disagree with the decision regarding their claim. Through the appeals process, you will have the opportunity to present your case before the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

If your appeal is successful, you will receive the rightful compensation you deserve. It is crucial to have a well-prepared strategy for presenting your case before the California Workers' Comp Appeals Board, and this is where we can offer our assistance.

Call (888) 740-6434 today to schedule a complimentary consultation and discuss your case with Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is a legal process by which a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court. When you file an appeal, you are asking a higher court to review your case and determine whether the lower court made any legal errors that affected the outcome of your trial. Appeals are not re-trials, and they do not involve the presentation of new evidence. Instead, appeals focus on whether the trial court followed the correct legal procedures and whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support the verdict.

Appealing a Workers' Compensation Decision: A Step-by-Step Guide

Once a Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) reviews your initial case, they will issue a ruling on whether you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits for your injuries. An approved claim ensures that you will be granted compensation. However, a denied claim means that without appealing the decision, you will not receive any compensation.

Understanding the Workers' Comp Appeals Process

To appeal a workers' comp denial, you can follow these steps in most cases:

  1. File an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) in the county where the injury occurred. DWC offices are located throughout the state, including in the Bay Area.
  2. After filing your complaint, you will receive a notice from the DWC office confirming that it has been filed, along with a case number.
  3. Upon receiving your application, you need to schedule a Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) with the judge. During this conference, the judge will strive to resolve the matter between you and the opposing party. To initiate this process, file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed at the DWC.
  4. If a settlement cannot be reached at the MSC, the judge will schedule a trial, allowing both parties to present their cases and call witnesses before another judge.
  5. Following the workers' compensation appeals board hearing, if either party remains dissatisfied with the judge's ruling, there is an opportunity to file another appeal called a "Petition for Reconsideration."

Appealing a denied workers' comp claim can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Contact Pacific Workers' Compensation Law Center today to begin developing an effective appeal strategy.

Understanding the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB)

The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) consists of a seven-member board appointed by the California Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Its main responsibilities include:

  • Providing guidance to the workers' compensation community
  • Reviewing workers' compensation appeals
  • Regulating the workers' compensation review process

How Long Does the Workers' Comp Appeals Process Take?

The entire appeal process typically takes between two to four months, depending on the workload of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board at the time of filing.

What Are the Chances of Winning a Workers' Comp Appeal?

Your chances of winning a workers' compensation appeal significantly improve with professional representation from a workers' comp attorney. By hiring an attorney, you can ensure that all necessary motions and paperwork are filed promptly, and your case will be vigorously argued before the workers' compensation judge and the insurance company.

Tips for Winning a Workers' Comp Appeal

To increase your chances of winning your appeal:

  • Pay close attention to the required documents and deadlines for filing.
  • Maintain thorough and detailed records of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your workplace incident.
  • Retain the services of an appeals attorney who will dedicate the necessary time and attention to your case.

At Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers, our team boasts over 75 years of combined experience in representing injured workers. We adopt a collaborative approach, allowing us to address every aspect of your case, regardless of its complexity, with enthusiasm and expertise.

If you require assistance in appealing your workers' comp claim, contact our team of workers' compensation appeals attorneys in the Bay Area, by dialing (888) 740-6434. We provide free initial consultations to help you get started.


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Workers' Comp FAQ

  • Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

    In California, all employees are eligible for workers’ compensation with very few exceptions. If you are classified as an “employee” (rather than an “independent contractor”), you are eligible to receive benefits. This is true regardless of how many employees your employer has, how many hours you work, how much you make, whether you work part-time or full-time, or whether you are a seasonal worker. Additionally, undocumented workers are also eligible for workers’ compensation granted they meet all other eligibility requirements. In contrast, independent contractors and certain other workers, including some volunteers, household workers who are employed by a family member, and others, are not able to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Can't I Just File for Workers' Compensation on My Own?

    Filing for workers' compensation on your own increases the chances that your claim will be denied. One small misstep can prevent you from obtaining the compensation you need for your injuries. In addition, the process is usually complex and tedious, especially for someone with no workers' compensation law experience. It is extremely advantageous that you seek reliable and experienced legal guidance for your claim.

  • What Can I Expect from the Workers' Compensation Process?

    As soon as you reach out to us for help, we will assign you a full-time case manager and attorney. An application will be filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) on your behalf. We will get started on your case immediately to help you receive the medical care you need. If we are unable to receive a fair settlement from the insurance company, we are ready and willing to take your case to trial. After a few months, you will most likely give a deposition. One of our highly experienced attorneys will prepare you and stand at your side the entire time. You don't even have to attend court hearings! One of our trained hearing officers or attorneys can attend on your behalf.

  • Can My Employer Tell Me to Use Sick Time or Vacation/Personal Time off (PTO) If I’m Injured at Work?

    Following a work-related injury, you may not receive workers’ compensation benefits right away or your workers’ compensation claim may be denied. You may receive a note from your doctor that you may take time off work due to your injuries, but how will you be paid if you are not actively seeking workers’ compensation benefits? Your employer may tell you to use your state-mandated/employer-provided sick time in order to continue being paid while you are out of work. Once this sick time is exhausted, your employer may tell you that the only way you can continue to be paid is if you use your vacation or PTO time. In some cases, this may actually be the only way to continue receiving wages while you are out of work and not receiving workers’ compensation benefits. For more information, check out our video with Attorney Bilal Kassem on this topic by visiting our Facebook page!

  • Can I Get Workers’ Compensation If I Was Fired?

    If you were terminated while already receiving workers’ compensation benefits, this does not necessarily affect your right to receive benefits. However, if you were terminated “for cause” (for example, if you were fired because you were caught stealing from your employer), you will not be able to continue collecting benefits. If you were not fired for cause, but were laid off due to your position being terminated or various other reasons, you may still be able to continue collecting your workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe you were terminated because you filed for workers’ compensation or because you were hurt at work, you may have grounds for a retaliation claim. Learn more, including whether you can continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits if you were laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, see our video with Attorney Bilal Kassem on our Facebook page.

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