Workers' Compensation

Navigating Disputes

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In cases of dispute between an injured worker and the employer and/or insurance carrier over entitlement to benefits, the worker may file either a formal Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers' Compensation. Upon filing, the case will be assigned to a judge and a district office based upon the county of residence of the injured worker, or if the worker lives out of state, the county where the employer is located.

Issues may include compensability of the claim (whether the injury/illness is considered work-related), the type and extent of medical treatment, and/or the payment of temporary disability benefits. Further, a claim petition may seek permanent disability benefits and in cases of alleged job-related death, dependency benefits. Workers are generally represented by an attorney but they may file a claim petition on their own (pro se). An insurance carrier will usually provide a legal defense on behalf of a covered employer. If you are a self-insured corporation, it is required that you or your third-party administrator obtain legal representation to defend your interests.