Workers’ Compensation Appeal Lawyers in Joplin, MO

Step-By-Step Guidance Through the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Process

If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits or disagree with the benefits you’ve been awarded, you may have the right to pursue an appeal. However, it’s important to understand that the Missouri workers’ compensation appeal process is quite complex, and that its outcome can have a dramatic impact on your ability to make ends meet while you’re recovering from a work-related injury or illness or acclimating to a new life with a lasting disability.

Fortunately, our award-winning Joplin workers’ compensation team at Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. can help. 

At Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C., we help clients across Missouri navigate the workers’ compensation appeal process. From investigating the underlying reasons for a claim denial or insurance dispute to providing step-by-step guidance to prepare for and effectively present cases, we’re devoted to helping injured workers and their families in the fight for full benefits.

If you have questions about a potential case, our Joplin workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help. We serve clients across Jasper and Newton Counties and offer FREE consultations. Give us a call at (888) 287-1046 or contact us onlineto speak with an attorney.

Why Would I File an Appeal in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Appealing a workers’ compensation matter is an important right, as it gives injured workers and families with valid claims an opportunity to make their cases heard, overcome challenges, and collect the benefits and compensation to which they are rightfully entitled.

In Missouri, workers’ compensation claimants – including injured workers and families of workers who are pursuing workers’ compensation death benefits – may have various reasons to request an appeal. The most common reasons are:

  • Being denied workers’ compensation benefits entirely.
  • Disagreements over the amount of benefits awarded.
  • Disputes between claimants and workers’ compensation insurers involving critical issues such as whether injuries or illnesses are work related. 
  • Disputes over disability ratings and a worker’s right to Partial or Total disability benefits. 
  • Denied payments for medical treatment deemed unnecessary or unrelated to a work injury or illness. 

At Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C., we have considerable experience representing workers in appeals involving all types of denials, disputes, and disagreements. Our attorneys routinely work with clients who’ve had their claims denied and with clients who disagree about material facts and issues with workers’ compensation insurance carriers. 

In all these matters, we make it a point to identify the problems our clients are facing and to evaluate the available solutions and strategies that can help them overcome these challenges and secure awards that appropriately meet their needs. If you’ve been denied benefits or have received an award that you disagree with, we’re ready to help you take the next steps.

Overview of the Appeal Process in Joplin, MO

The workers' compensation appeal process in Joplin, Missouri, is structured to allow employees who have had their claims denied or partially granted to challenge the decision. While every case is unique, the general process for appealing a workers’ compensation matter in Missouri is as follows:

  1. Filing an Initial Appeal. If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer has denied your claim or refused to fairly award the benefits to which you believe you are entitled, you must file a formal claim or appeal with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. This appeal application will include a request to have your matter heard before an administrative law judge during an evidentiary hearing. You can work with an experienced attorney who can help you prepare for this hearing by gathering and organizing critical documentation, coordinating with doctors and medical experts who can provide important testimony about your injuries and scope of disability, and developing the strategy for how you’ll present this information to the ALJ, who will ultimately issue a ruling after hearing from both parties.
  2. Appealing an ALJ Decision. If you do not agree with the decision reached by the ALJ who presided over your evidentiary hearing, you can request that a three-member panel from the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Committee review the award by filing Application for Review within 20 days of the ALJ’s decision. Once you have filed this application, your case files are forwarded to the Labor Commission and subsequently reviewed by the panel. It is important to note that while these reviews do not generally concern new information or evidence, you may request the right to present newly discovered evidence if needed. After reviewing your case, the panel will then issue a decision that becomes final 10 days after it is handed down. As with initial appeal hearings, working with a lawyer to prepare your appeal for the Labor Commission can ensure you’re positioned to prevail. 
  3. Missouri Court of Appeals. If you don’t agree with the decision reached by the Labor Commission panel, you can further appeal by requesting that your case be reviewed by the Missouri Court of Appeals within 20 days after the finalization of the Labor Commission’s decision. You’ll need to pay a docket fee and have your matter approved for review by the Missouri Supreme Court, as this stage is considered a judicial appeal where justices are tasked only with determining whether any errors of law were made in your case, and not with making new findings of fact. 
  4. Missouri Supreme Court. Judicial review by the Missouri Court of Appeals is typically the last stop in the Missouri workers’ compensation appeal process for most cases. However, there are limited cases that can be appealed one step further to the Supreme Court of Missouri. This is generally rare and reserved only for cases involving issues that concern issues related to the state’s workers’ compensation law or other matters of great importance. 

Key Things to Keep in Mind When Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Case in Joplin

While the latter stages of the Missouri workers’ compensation appeal process are rare and limited to only certain cases, the earliest stages – including evidentiary hearings before an ALJ – are viable ways to ensure that mistakes are rectified and that you’re able to collect the benefits you deserve.

At Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C., we take a great deal of time to help clients prepare for their hearing and appeal and to understand how the process works and what they can expect. As you consider your options for appealing a denial or addressing a dispute, keep the following in mind:

  • Role of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). During the initial appeal hearing, an ALJ will oversee your appeal similar to how a trial judge oversees a trial. This means that both you and the insurer are given opportunities to present evidence, testimony, and key information about your case and your reasons to be awarded benefits. The ALJ is responsible for evaluating what’s presented to them and deciding on the matter. As such, it’s important to thoroughly prepare for these hearings and to have all the evidence you need to support your side of the story.
  • Legal Requirements and Deadlines. Missouri law dictates specific deadlines for filing a workers' compensation appeal. Missing these deadlines can be detrimental to your case. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal representation to ensure all paperwork and filings meet Missouri’s legal criteria, and that you’re able to preserve your right to seek needed benefits.
  • Presenting Evidence Effectively. Evidence plays a pivotal role in the success of your appeal. It will serve to substantiate your claim for the benefits. Essential evidence may include medical records that document the extent and cause of your injuries, witness testimony that provides credible support about your work-related injury or illness, opinions from relevant experts that bolster your arguments for required compensation, and other important medical and employment documentation. At Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C., we leverage experience and connections with various medical professionals and experts to help our clients obtain this important evidence.
  • Possible Outcomes. The ALJ’s decision can have various potential outcomes. This includes a ruling that upholds the original decision regarding your claim, a ruling that reverses the original decision in your favor, or a ruling that remands the case for additional investigation or re-evaluation. Our attorneys can advise you of how each of these potential outcomes will specifically affect your case and benefits.

Given the complexity of workers' compensation laws and the possibility of nuanced issues unique to your case, securing an experienced attorney can be highly beneficial. An attorney from our team can advocate on your behalf, ensuring the best possible presentation of your appeal.

Call For a FREE Case Review: (888) 287-1046

Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. is a trusted Missouri legal practice known for helping injured workers, victims, and families in the fight for justice. We proudly handle a range of workers’ compensation and personal injury,  matters across the state, and are available to discuss how we can help you. 

If you’re facing a workers’ compensation denial or a dispute that threatens your benefits, we encourage you to bring your case to our Joplin workers’ compensation lawyers as soon as possible. Backed by decades of experience, we can review your options for initiating the appeal process and discuss how we can help you fight for needed benefits. 

For more information about your options and our services, complete an online formor call (888) 287-1046 to request a free case evaluation.

  • “My husband was in a car accident, we called Aaron Sachs, and are very glad we did! First of all, they sent someone to our home to interview my husband, so he did not have to drive all the way to Springfield to their office while he was in pain.” - Former Client
  • “I was rear-ended by a non-insured driver. My car was totaled and I ended up having surgery on my shoulder. I was thrilled to get a settlement way larger than I could have dreamed.” - Former Client

Our Core Principles

  • Accessibility

    We make sure that we are available to answer our clients’ questions, breaking down the complex legal jargon and using plain English. There is no “one size fits all” answer — your case needs and deserves individual attention, and this is what we are prepared to provide.

  • Professionalism

    Our team has over 235 years of combined experience, handling over ten thousand personal injury cases. We are committed to professional excellence in every aspect of what we do and how we do it. We have over 65 employees with an exclusive focus on injury claims.

  • Understanding

    We strive to meet our clients where they are and provide the service they need. Suffering an injury is a difficult time in an individual’s life; you need representation that understands both the worries you may be feeling and the world you are now dealing with. Let us help ensure your rights are protected.

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