Contested Workers Compensation Claim Instructions

GavelIf you are reading this, the insurance company has filed a challenge to your workers’ compensation claim. They intend to contest it and we will have to fight for your claim at a hearing.

Rest assured we will fight for your claim at the hearing. You will have the right to tell your story, present any witnesses, and give your medical records to the Commissioner. The Commissioner will make a decision after the hearing.

There is nothing we need to do right now. The Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) will automatically set your case in for a hearing. You will get a hearing notice in the mail, usually the same day I do.

The hearing notice will provide a date and time. All WCC cases are set at 9:30 in the morning. If you live in Southern Maryland, your hearing will probably be in La Plata at the WCC regional hearing site. If you live in Prince George’s County, it will probably be in Beltsville at that regional hearing site.

If you want a preview of what happens at a WCC hearing, click this link and read this post.

Here is the difficult part – the hearing may take a couple of months to happen. In the “good ole’ days” before 2010, the hearings would be set in 30-45 days. Now it is very rare if I get a hearing set in less than 60 days, and a 90 day wait is common. Some cases take even longer. I cannot predict it. The hearing will be automatically set according to the regulations at the WCC and the Commissioner’s schedules.

And here is another difficult part – the insurance company does not have to do anything for you until after the hearing. This delay works in their favor. And they know it works for them and they use it to their advantage.

If you are out of work and have no income, this is going to be a very trying 2-3 months. I am very sympathetic to that situation. Who can live without a paycheck for 2 or 3 months???!!!

This stinks. I know.

The good news is that if you win, your benefits are backdated so you will get one big check catching you up. That will pay off your delayed and overdue bills, probably before they take any serious action against you. Explain the situation to your creditors, your landlord, or anyone else hounding you for money, and hopefully they will hold off sending you to collections. You can give them proof of your claim, and the challenge to your claim, with the documents you will get from the WCC. If they need a letter from me, let me know and I will provide you with one.

If you have an emergency situation (like you are going to lose your house, or your car, or there will be some other impending financial disaster) call me and we will discuss whether you can get an emergency hearing.

The Commission does not often grant an emergency hearing, but they have the power to do so in extreme circumstances. Please note that just getting behind on your bills is not an emergency (according to the Commission). It has to be a definite impending consequence that you can document. 

Sorry for the bad news. It stinks, I know. But we will see you through this situation and fight for your workers’ comp claim at the upcoming hearing. You will get through this. If you win, this next 2-3 months will just be a bad memory one day.

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About Tucker Clagett

Tucker has one of the largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation practices in Southern Maryland. He is an experienced litigator, winning jury trials in courts around the state, and successfully litigating appeals in Maryland’s Appellate Courts. Tucker is very active in the community and loves to serve through various community groups and non-profit agencies, some of which he created. He is on the Board of Directors of Living Water of Charles County, which puts water and septic into homes of families with out. Tucker is also a member of the Mason Springs Conservancy, which purchased an environmentally sensitive piece of land along the Mattawoman Creek to protect it from pollution while leaving it open to local fisherman who have been fishing there for decades. Tucker is a member of the Maryland Association for Justice. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard H. Sothoron on the Prince George’s County Circuit Court.