Texas Workers' Comp Hearings & Appeals
Denied Claim? You Need a Houston Workers' Compensation Lawyer.
If your workers' compensation claim is being disputed or has been denied, you have options. A Houston workers' comp lawyer at Stern Law Group can guide you through the process of requesting a hearing and filing an appeal, as necessary. Our legal team is experienced in handling claims for all types of work-related accidents, on-the-job injuries and occupational diseases. With more than 150 years of combined legal experience and the resources to properly investigate our clients' cases, we stand prepared to seek the best possible result for every injured worker we represent.
Though you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits and medical care, you may experience problems in recovering these if your employer or the workers' comp insurance company believes you should not be covered. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC), the first thing to do in the event of a dispute is to call the insurance carrier and discuss your problem with your claims adjuster. Your attorney can do this for you, if you have already hired one.
If you or your attorney cannot reach a resolution in this way, the following types of recourse are available to you:
Benefit Review Conference (BRC)
A Benefit Review Conference, or BRC, is an informal meeting held at your local DWC office. During the BRC, you and a representative of the insurance company will meet and discuss the dispute in front of a DWC Benefit Review Officer. If you are able to reach a resolution in this meeting, the agreement may be written up and signed by you and the insurer.
Workers' Compensation Arbitration
Another course of action to take in the event of a workers' compensation dispute is arbitration. This is an option if you were unable to reach an agreement at the BRC and can be pursued instead of or before a formal hearing. Arbitration is overseen by an independent party selected by DWC, who will hear both sides of the dispute and then make a decision on the matter. It is important to note that the arbitrator's decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Contested Case Hearing (CCH)
If you do not wish to choose arbitration to resolve a dispute that was not sorted out at a BRC, the next step would be a Contested Case Hearing, or CCH. This formal hearing is conducted by a DWC Hearing Officer who will consider the evidence at hand and make a decision on the disputed issue(s).
If you disagree with the decision made by a Hearing Officer at your CCH, you can take the next step to appeal this. This is accomplished by requesting a review of the decision by the DWC Appeals Panel. Disputing parties will submit written statements to the Appeals Panel explaining their positions. The Appeals Panel will review these statements along with the record of the CCH and the Hearing Officer's decision and will then render a decision on the matter.
If you disagree with the decision reached by the DWC Appeals Panel, the final step is to file an appeal with a court of law.
Call an Attorney at Our Houston Law Offices Today
Workers' compensation claims may be delayed, denied or disputed for various reasons, but it is well within your rights to request a hearing or file an appeal to resolve such issues. Make sure your interests are protected to the fullest extent in these proceedings by involving a knowledgeable Houston workers' compensation attorney – contact Stern Law Group today.