Jackson Workers’ Compensation Appeal Lawyer
When workers’ compensation systems first appeared in the early 1900s, the appeals system was almost an unnecessary appendage, as far as job injury victims were concerned. Victims appealed few rulings, since Claims Examiners almost always sided with workers. A lot of things have changed in the last hundred-plus years, including workers’ compensation. Today, since insurance company interests dominate the workers’ compensation initial claims process, almost all cases are appealed.
A dedicated Jackson workers’ compensation appeal lawyer at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe will advocate for job injury victims at all workers’ compensation levels. We thoroughly prepare each case. If victims present enough evidence to Claims Examiners, even these bureaucrats won’t deny worthy petitions. However, if we still need to go to the next level, we never look for a quick settlement or an easy way out. Instead, we keep fighting for the benefits you and your family deserve.
Preparing an Appeal
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance. Therefore, fault for the accident is usually not an issue. A work-related connection between an illness or injury is another matter. The extent of damages is usually a different matter as well. One or both of these issues form the basis of many workers’ compensation appeals in Mississippi, Louisiana, and elsewhere.
Sometimes, a work-related connection is rather straightforward. Much more frequently, a pre-existing or co-existing condition contributes to the work injury.
Repetitive stress knee problems are a good example. Many workers have bad knees and other pre-existing conditions which not only make them more susceptible to injury. Their pre-existing conditions make their job injuries worse. Other individuals do almost as much bending, stooping, and lifting at home or during their side jobs as they do during their regular jobs.
Usually, a variation of the eggshell skull rule applies in these cases. Maximum compensation is usually available if a Jackson workers’ compensation appeal lawyer establishes that the non-work condition aggravated the job injury, as opposed to the other way around.
Damages disputes often arise since many insurance companies use boilerplate tables to determine what’s necessary (e.g. a broken arm means X dollars of medical care and Y number of physical therapy sessions).
However, when it comes to medical issues, there is no one-size-fits-all. We all respond to different medical interventions in different ways. So, depending on the facts, the monetary allotment for a broken arm or other injury might be much higher than an insurance company is willing to acknowledge.
The Appeals Process and Jackson Workers’ Compensation Appeals Lawyer
Administrative Law Judges hear most workers’ compensation appeals. Generally, an ALJ hearing is a bit like a private trial without a judge.
Usually, no court reporter is present at an ALJ hearing. These individuals have the power to issue ruling in the cases before them, but they don’t have the power to issue broad injunctions or other judge-like orders. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, an ALJ is usually a paid insurance company employee or an employee of a subcontracting firm.
A major difference between an ALJ appeal and a Claims Examiner review is that, during appeals, attorneys have free rein to make legal arguments, introduce evidence, and challenge evidence. Since the ALJ hears both sides of the story, ALJs often side with victims.
Insurance company lawyers know the odds aren’t in their favor. So, they’re usually willing to make favorable deals in the lead-up to an ALJ hearing. Therefore, most victims get the wage replacement and medical payment benefits they deserve without having to go to court for them.
Contact an Experienced Hinds County Attorney
Injured workers are entitled to substantial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced Jackson workers’ compensation appeals lawyer, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.