How Long Do Workers’ Comp Appeals Take?

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How Long Do Workers’ Comp Appeals Take?

Michigan workers’ comp lawyer explains the workers’ comp appeals process when the employer or insurance company file a Notice of Dispute.

Workers’ comp benefits are disputed for a variety of reasons. It can be based upon late employee notice, failure to make a timely claim, or employee misconduct. Some disabled employees have their workers’ comp benefits disputed based upon the independent medical examination (IME).

It does not matter why the insurance company stops paying workers’ comp benefits. The result is no lost wages and/or medical care. Unfair decisions should be challenged with a hearing. Here is what injured workers need to know about their workers’ comp appeal rights.

What is a workers’ comp dispute letter?

In Michigan, insurance companies are required to file a workers’ comp dispute letter known as a Notice of Dispute (Form WC-107) if workers’ comp benefits are not going to be paid. This form indicates to the State of Michigan that a dispute exists regarding a claim.

It lists six broad categories that can be selected as the reason for a dispute. Watch out for generic excuses like “pending investigation” or “medical records under review.”

What is a workers’ comp appeal form?

Injured workers who wish to file a appeal can fill out the Application for Mediation or Hearing (Form WC-104A). This workers’ comp form is used by the injured worker to start a case. Depending upon the circumstances, the case will be set for either telephone mediation or pre-trial. Details about the work injury and other personal information will be required.

Do not start a workers’ comp case without consulting an experienced lawyer. Do not expect a magistrate to award benefits using common sense. Rules of evidence and specific procedures must be followed. Medical, vocational, and witness testimony will also be needed.

How long do workers’ comp appeals take?

It can take months or years to resolve a workers’ comp appeal. A magistrate might issue an award but that does not mean litigation will end. Insurance companies can file additional appeals all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. An experienced attorney can help speed up the process and obtain a settlement.

What are the chances of winning a workers’ comp appeal?

In Michigan, the magistrates decide the facts and law of each disputed workers’ comp case and the chances of winning an appeal are greater with an experienced workers comp lawyer, though either side can win or lose at trial. This is a powerful incentive for both sides to attempt a workers’ comp settlement.

The burden of proof is always on the injured worker and it can be difficult to win. This is especially true for individuals with preexisting conditions. Medical evidence showing a change of pathology will be required. Insurance companies can also use “phantom wages” to reduce the weekly benefit amount. It is not enough to show disability from your job.

How many times can you appeal a workers’ comp case?

Injured workers who lose at trial can file their own appeal. The review standard gives deference to the original magistrate and a legal error must be shown to flip the decision of the case. It is unlikely that an injured worker is going to win if the magistrate did not believe his or her story. Sometimes it is possible to file a new Application for Mediation or Hearing based upon a change of condition. Speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to find out the best way to protect legal rights.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Can You Reopen A Closed Workers’ Comp Case?

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.