The workers' compensation system protects Oklahoma workers if they experience a work-related injury or illness. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover medical care costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages and payment for permanent disabilities. Additionally, this system pays benefits to family members if they lose a loved one in a work-related accident.
You are protected regardless of fault. However, this does not mean that all workers' compensation claims are successful. Why are claims denied?
Potential causes for a rejected claim
To recover compensation, workers must adhere to all workers' compensation regulations and timelines. A worker's claim may be denied if:
- Alcohol or drugs were in their system at the time of the accident
- They intentionally inflicted the injury
- They were injured during horseplay
- Claim deadlines were missed
- The employer was not properly notified of the accident
- The worker failed to receive a medical evaluation or treatment
- The worker did not, or could not, show that the injury was work-related
- The injury occurred in the company parking lot outside of work
- That type of mental injury is not covered
- The worker missed scheduled medical appointments
- The employee used a physician not approved by their employer
- The worker failed to complete required paperwork
Do not miss your deadline to file
You should report the accident to your employer as soon as possible after your accident to protect your ability to collect benefits. You may forfeit your right to recover any compensation if you do not report your injury to your employer within 30 days of your accident.
A denial may not be permanent
If your claim is initially denied, you may still be able to secure benefits. You can appeal the court to re-evaluate your case. When they deny your claim, they must explain why they are denying benefits. This allows you to strengthen your case before you appeal their decision.
Many workers consider partnering with a workers' compensation attorney to guide them through this process and help them secure the benefits they need.