Denied Claims - Hearings
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied contact me right away at 503 620.3171 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free in-person consultation. After listening to your situation, I will give you my opinion about claim, explain your options, and help you decide the next best step to take. I have been an Oregon lawyer since 1981 and have been representing injured workers since 1986.Critical Time Limits
If your claim has been denied, you have 60 days from the mailing date of the denial notice to appeal the denial. Good claims have been lost just because an injured worker waited too longer to appeal. Sometimes the worker did not realize how much time had passed and realized he waited too long. Do not let this happen to you. Get legal advice as soon as you receive a notice denying your workers’ compensation claim.
When you call me, I will do an initial screening. If the facts sound good enough to make case, l will invite to schedule a free in-person consultation.If You Hire Me
If you hire me, I will request a hearing, order all records, and, typically, will speak with your treating doctor about the cause of injury. These cases almost always turn on the strength of treating doctor opinion as to the cause of your current disabling condition.
These cases are always challenging, even when the evidence is good. So preparing early and diligently is the best strategy.The Hearing
If a case does not settle (and most cases do not), you will have a hearing. At a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will swear all witness, including you, to tell the truth. You will testify. So will witness your employer brings in. It is not unusual for the employer to bring co-workers to testify against you. These are hostile witnesses. Be prepared for this. Anticipate who the employer will bring in and what that individual is likely to say. Be prepared to give me the names of people who can testify for you or who are likely to give testimony that contradicts the testimony of hostile witnesses.The ALJ
Next to your credibility and the opinion of your treating doctor, ALJ fairness is the most important element. Not all ALJs are equal. Most are fair. A few are biased against the injured worker. Sometimes a biased ALJ will deny compensability of a perfectly good case. When this happens, it is always worth continuing to appeal. If you are credible, and if the treating doctor has specialty expertise, was well-informed, and wrote a well-reasoned report, you have a good chance having the bad decision reversed on appeal.Fees
Attorney fees in Oregon Workers’ Compensation claims are strictly contingent. That means I receive a fee ONLY if you receive benefits. That means you do not owe me a fee UNLESS you receive benefits. If I am successful overturning a denied claim, the employer/workers’ compensation insurer will pay my fee according to the amount set by an Administrative Law Judge.
Sometimes cases settle. If your case settles, my fee is a percentage of your past-due benefits: 25 percent of the first $17,500 and 10 percent of any additional amount.Costs
Doctors charge for their time talking to a lawyer and writing a report for an injured worker. Their time is valuable and this is fair. Unless the costs are excessive, I advance them with the hope that the employer will reimburse me later if you win. Most doctors charge reasonable fees. A few gouge.Free Consultation