Appealing a Negative Verdict After a Serious Injury
Unfortunately, not every verdict favors the injured party in a workers’ compensation case. Having your claim denied after suffering an injury due to another person’s negligence can make you feel defeated. But one verdict isn’t the end of your case. We have experience filing appeals on behalf of our clients when we feel the court came to the wrong conclusion.
If your original claim was denied and you’re considering an appeal, it’s important to know what to expect. While the help of an experienced attorney can make the process less daunting, it’s important to state that each new appeal gets more difficult to win.
How to File an Appeal
The process begins when you file a notice of claim by completing a WC-14 document through the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You can either work with the same attorney or find new representation, but this claim must be filed within one year of the original decision. You should complete this process as soon as possible. Acting with urgency helps preserve evidence and can lead to you receiving your benefits sooner should you win.
Administrative Law Judge
Generally, within 60 days of filing your claim, a hearing will be scheduled with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This process is similar to a trial, and you’ll present evidence, present witnesses if necessary, or even cross-examine the insurance company’s witnesses. Within 30 days after the hearing, the ALJ will mail you their decision based on the facts and the applicable law.
Board’s Appellate Division
If the verdict is again unsatisfactory, you have the option of appealing to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Appellate Division. You must file within 20 days of the ALJ’s decision, and you’ll have an oral argument scheduled within the next 60 days. You and the insurance company will file your respective briefs and then you will each present your argument for five minutes. The three individuals in this division are looking to see if a mistake was made in your appeal. An error must be abundantly clear and undeniable to reverse the ALJ’s decision.
Georgia Superior Court and Court of Appeals
If you receive yet another negative verdict, it is still not the end. You have 20 days to file an appeal with Georgia’s Superior Court. They will only review the proceedings, briefs, and oral arguments. There is no possibility to enter new evidence or have another hearing. From there, appealing the Superior Court’s decision would bring you before the Georgia Court of Appeals. Their scope is similar in that there is no hearing or new evidence, only a review of the documents filed.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
By working with attorneys who dedicate their practice to workers’ compensation and personal injury, you can give yourself a better chance of obtaining a positive decision from your original claim. But if you’re about to file an appeal, we can help lessen the burden and represent you throughout the process.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Macon, Ga.
If you have received a negative verdict from a claim related to a workplace injury, you need a Macon personal injury lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.