Pursuing benefits for a serious workplace illness like mesothelioma can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. However, the end result should hopefully make it all worth it when you and your family start receiving benefits like workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, there are times when a claim for workers’ compensation is denied for one reason or another. Perhaps you failed to apply within the time limit set by North Carolina statutes of limitations or insurance determined that your illness was not work-related, wrongfully so or not. In this situation, it can be natural to feel greatly disappointed and even hopeless. However, you still may have a number of options if your claim for workers’ compensation is denied.
To begin with, you may be able to appeal the decision denying your claim. This means that a court will review your case and the decision that was made to see if any errors were made in the ruling. In some cases, the initial ruling can be overturned. However, there are specific deadlines in place regarding when you must file an appeal, so it is crucial to act fast.
Another option would be to file a separate claim for compensation against a third party for negligence. This action will give you the opportunity to seek financial damages from the person or persons responsible for your illness. In cases involving mesothelioma, this might include a product manufacturer or property owners who were negligent in protecting you from toxic exposure.
It may also be possible to pursue a lawsuit against your employer, though these situations can be very tricky if your employer provides you with workers’ compensation benefits. Generally speaking, providing workers’ compensation insurance is a means of protecting employers from being sued in personal injury claims by employers. However, as noted in this article, there are exceptions that may be explored.
Readers should understand that there is still hope for monetary awards if a claim for workers’ compensation is denied or if the money paid out proves to be inadequate. Discussing the options with an attorney can be a good idea and reaching out for help sooner than later can be crucial.