Who Can Reopen Workers Compensation Cases?

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Who is the respondent in a workers comp case, and who can reopen claims? These are questions that people ask when they feel as though their workers compensation claim will have trouble reaching a full resolution. It is completely fair for employees to worry about what will happen after their case closes and what they should expect from their employer.

If more people discussed these elements of workers compensation, then an employee might have a better understanding of the process. However, many employers specifically aim to keep their staff in the dark with the hope that they’ll be too afraid or hesitant to open a workers compensation case. There are many challenges that anyone in the workers compensation process could face and if you need support because of your employer’s actions, then get help straight away. With a Charlotte workers compensation attorney, it’s vital that you take key opportunities and turn those into decisive action to protect your needs and best interests.

Who is the Respondent in a Case?

With workers compensation cases, the respondent is always the person who has the opportunity to respond to an appeal. If a case is reopened, then the respondent would be the opposing party to whoever reopened the claim. Now, the respondent could be the plaintiff, but it could also be the defendant.

There are a lot of questions around using the term respondent, and in most situations, throughout the first portion of the workers compensation claim, they simply use employee and employer. When that claim closes with either a favorable or unfavorable outcome, there’s the opportunity for an appeal. An employer could appeal an outcome that is favorable for the employee. Additionally, an employee can appeal a claim which was unfavorable for them or a workers compensation claim denial.

In short, if you file the appeal, then your employer is the respondent. If your employer filed the appeal, then you are the respondent.

Action After a Favorable Outcome

After a favorable outcome for the employee, the employer has the opportunity to contest the determination. It is not necessarily a denial, and it is not necessarily an appeal. When an employer contests a favorable outcome, they’re asking for further review and analysis of the evidence and the claim.

When an employer files an appeal or contests the determination, they need to have specific grounds to do so. They cannot simply express that they believe the claim was handled unfairly. They may need to specifically identify that certain witnesses were not credible or that the handling of the claim was outside of the scope of the insurance policy.

Action After an Unfavorable Outcome

If there is an unfavorable outcome where you were denied workers compensation, then it is possible to file an appeal. At this point, the employer would become the respondent. Appeals for workers compensation should directly address where the claim was mishandled, and you would work to prove that the injury was a result of your employer’s action or inaction.

You can often do this by showing that the employer’s standard practices and what actually happens in the workplace are two different things. By showing inconsistency between documented practices and standard workplace practices, you can likely open up the understanding of what probably happened as part of your incident. Employers frequently rely on documented practices to defend against workers compensation claims even when they don’t match up with actual practices.

Reopening a Claim

In the event of a favorable outcome, you can still reopen a claim. Many people reopen claims because they believe that the injuries are more serious than were initially believed. It may also be that the person requires more time off of work or further therapy to return to work.

How Can You Get Help from a Charlotte Workers Compensation Attorney

It is critical that those people who were injured at work have access to all of the resources they may need for their recovery. Unfortunately, the insurance process and presence in workers compensation claims often means that injured workers get the bare minimum in coverage. These individuals might be sent to second-rate doctors or doctors who purposefully downplay injuries for their insurance-provider, who is essentially their employer.

However, a person has more options than just to accept whatever workers compensation comes their way. Instead of accepting a small settlement, you’ll need to fight against your employer’s workers compensation insurance provider and their team of attorneys. As the respondent, they may choose a variety of different courses of action, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Take control of your claim with a Charlotte Workers Compensation Attorney. 

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