Understanding The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Process
There are specific steps that must be taken in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an on-the-job injury. Some of these steps come with strict time limitations, and missing a deadline could compromise your access to benefits. It is important that you seek the advice of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who understands the law and has the ability to protect your interests.
At Litton & Chaney Law Firm in Oklahoma City, we represent injured workers across the state in all types of work-related injury claims. We know the process can be difficult to understand at times, and you can rely on us to provide you with the customized workers’ compensation solutions you need.
We Will Be There With You At Every Step
Understanding the Oklahoma workers’ compensation process can help to alleviate a lot of the mystery and confusion. We take the time to fully explain the legal issues surrounding your workers’ compensation claim and what you can expect as the case moves forward. We have nearly 30 years of experience with these cases, and we will be there beside you at every step.
The following is a high-level overview of the process:
- Reporting your injury to your employer: It is your responsibility to promptly inform your employer about your injury. Your employer may also require you to complete an incident report or other documentation as part of its own internal policies, which is separate from the actual workers’ compensation process. Be sure that you obtain copies of any paperwork you are required to complete.
- Applying for benefits: You have the right to receive medical care, compensation for lost wages, compensation for any type of permanent impairment, rehabilitation and retraining, and other benefits specific to your claim. Many initial applications are denied based on some alleged error in the application, lack of eligibility or simply because the insurance company is trying to get out of paying the claim. Do not give up. You have the right to challenge any denial.
- Requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing before an ALJ. These hearings give you and your employer both the opportunity to present evidence and testimony. We will be there to represent you at your ALJ hearing. It should also be noted that your employer can also request a hearing if you are awarded benefits and your employer disagrees with the decision.
- Appeals to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission: If the ALJ does not rule in your favor, we can appeal to the Commission. The commission can either reverse or uphold the ALJ’s decision. Appeals must be filed within 10 days of the ALJ’s decision. We will take care of filing the appeal in a timely manner and make sure all deadlines are met throughout the process.
- Appeals to the state supreme court: If the Commission does not rule in your favor, we can appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. These cases are extremely rare. We will review the case and the results of the various hearings with you at each stage. We will not stop fighting as long as we believe that there is a chance for success at the next level.
Talk To A Lawyer About Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Regardless of what stage of the process you are in, it is important that you take action to protect your interests. Even if you are only preparing to apply for benefits, we can advise you on everything that is available for your claim. Even after legal fees have been paid, most clients end up with more compensation with a lawyer’s help compared to those who apply for benefits on their own.