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Workers' Compensation Denials

Was Your Claim Denied? We Can Help!

If you were recently injured on the job, you may have filed a workers’ compensation claim and expected a favorable outcome. Unfortunately, just because you filed a claim does not necessarily mean it will be accepted. The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) in California can deny your claim for a variety of reasons. The good news? You have the right to appeal their decision.

Before you make an appeal, however, it is helpful to know why your claim was denied. At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, we carefully assess each case and create an informed strategy based on our findings. Rather than blindly moving forward, our clients can count on calculated efforts every step of the way.

Fill out a free case evaluation form to tell our Oakland workers’ compensation attorneys more about your case!

Common Reasons for Claim Denials

A claim denial indicates that the claims administrator did not believe your injury should be covered by workers’ compensation. You will be alerted of the denial by letter, at which point you have the opportunity to challenge the decision.

A claim can be denied for any number of reasons, including:

  • Failure to report or file the claim on time
  • The employer disputes the claim
  • Injuries are not severe enough to warrant a claim
  • Injuries were caused by stress, not work-related conditions

If you want to object to the denial of your claim, you must file both an Application for Adjudication of Claim and a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. These documents indicate that you want your case heard by a judge. After a hearing and a trial, a decision is made about your case.


According to California labor laws, independent contractors are not eligible for Workers' Compensation through their employer, and are, in fact, responsible for their own Workers' Compensation insurance. However, that doesn't mean that you can't receive Workers' Compensation if you are an independent contractor. While that might seem like a contradiction, there's actually a very simple explanation: many people who are classified as independent contractors are really employees.

Misclassification is a common problem, rampant in industries like trucking. Countless businesses in the state and around the country misclassify part-time, or even full-time, employees as contractors in order to save money on benefits, social security, Workers' Compensation insurance, and payroll taxes. This is illegal, and there are penalties from the labor board and from civil court. Employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors are eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits, and are entitled to treatment when they get hurt.

Workers' Compensation cases involving misclassification are more complicated than average. There must be a trial at the Workers' Compensation Board to prove that the injured worker is really an employee. There are many factors that go into proving employment status, the most crucial of which are:

  • Does the employer provide the equipment necessary to do the job?
  • Does the employer set the workers' schedule and tell them when & where to work?

If the answer to both of those questions is, "yes," you're most likely an employee, regardless of what kind of tax form you filled out, and an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney can easily prove the truth and get you the benefits that you deserve. However, there are some sectors in which labor law is still catching up with technology. For an example, the classification of Uber drivers is currently a gray area being worked out in the courts. But in most cases, the law is clear: injured workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors can receive Workers' Compensation.

Retain an Oakland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Before the appeals process, you have the right to obtain legal representation. We cannot emphasize enough how important this is – the attorney you choose can have an immense impact on the outcome of your case. Our firm is here to give you the best possible chance at a favorable decision and with 130+ years of experience, you can feel confident when we’re on your side.

Don’t wait! Your claim is bound by time constraints and should be handled proactively. Get in touch with Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center today. Offices in Oakland and Concord!

Stabbing Victim Speaks on Her Experience With Pacific Workers' Compensation
Over 150 4-star & 5-Star Reviews From People Just Like You!
  • "Very helpful, compassionate and responsive staff. Each case manager and assistant always went above and beyond to help me"

    - Sandy M.

  • "I felt like I MATTERED. Very professional & caring. I will miss you guys a lot."

    - Heather A. Flores

  • "My legal team at PWC is amazing! I would like to give a special shout out to Karla! She has given me assurance throughout the entire process."

    - Hakim M.

  • "Knowledgeable staff that returns calls quickly and is always asking what more they can do for you."

    - Brent B.

  • "They have your back when no one else does!"

    - Rob Star

  • "I felt very confident in my case with Bilal on my side!"

    - Brad H.

How Can We Help?
  • Northern California's Authority in Workers' Compensation

    Exclusive focus on workers' compensation and over 130 years of collective experience.

  • Proven Track Record of Winning

    Over a 98% success rate.

  • No Fee Unless We Win

    You do not pay a penny if we fail to recover benefits on your behalf.

  • Advanced Client Communication Technology

    We have multiple ways to stay in contact with you through online scheduling & texting to keep open communication during the process.

We'll Help Recover Compensation For:
  • Lost wages / Disability payments
  • Transportation costs
  • Life pension payments
  • Medical Evaluations
  • Hospital bills
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Medical aid devices
  • Death benefits
Get Started On Your Workers' Comp Claim
Please give us a call at (888) 740-6434 to book your appointment or fill out the form below to get started.
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