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The Hearings and Appeals Process

Workers' Compensation Hearings and Appeals Lawyer in Kansas City

Hearings in a workers' compensation cases are administrative procedures. Administrative procedures are trial-type hearings, less formal than courts of law, set up to resolve disputes between government agencies and people affected by decisions of that agency. A workers' comp judge is an administrative law judge who specializes in deciding workers' comp benefit awards and disputes. Regular courts of law don't hear workers' comp cases. For this reason, workers' comp judges have intimate knowledge of workers' compensation law, as it's the only area in which they practice.

Likewise, the insurance defense attorneys working for your employer do nothing else other than workers' compensation law. Experts in their field, they will work at every turn to limit or even deny your rights to compensation. Your employer and its insurance carrier may be working with their attorney from the time your claim is first reported. That's why you need an expert Kansas City workers' compensation lawyer on your side too. As a claimant, you will want attorneys familiar with workers' comp practice and procedure to see you through the hearing process for a fair award of workers' comp benefits.

How Can I Appeal an Unfair Decision?

You can appeal both a decision of final award of your workers' comp benefit claim and that of a temporary or partial award.

  • Final award: In Missouri, the first appeal from a final award is to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. In Kansas, it is to the Board of Appeals. In almost every case, no new evidence is taken, but additional arguments can be raised. The appellate judges can either agree with the administrative law judge or issue a new award. A second appeal may then be requested by any party by filing a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals. This is not a new trial, but a review which either changes or reverses the Commission's award. In very rare situations, the State Supreme Court may accept a third appeal.
  • Temporary or partial award: The appeal process is similar to that of a final award, except there is no appeal possible to the State Supreme Court. In Kansas, a temporary (preliminary) award cannot be appealed up to the State Court of Appeals.

The attorneys at Haight Stang, LLC have been practicing in this area of law for nearly 50 years and are no strangers to workers' compensation courtrooms. Insurance companies will always be represented by experienced workers' compensation attorneys. You deserve expert advice and representation as well.

If you have received an initial compensation denial or an unfair award, we can help. Contact a Kansas City workers' compensation lawyer for the full compensation you deserve.