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Approach your claim as if you’ll need to appeal

April 01, 2022

Knowing that you have the opportunity to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim is comforting to some individuals. But an appeal isn’t a second bite at the apple. In fact, on appeal your case is going to be analyzed based on the record created at the initial hearing, meaning that you’re not going to have an opportunity to present additional evidence. Therefore, the way you present your case the first time is critically important. You need to have strong legal arguments supported by compelling facts. If you want to protect your case on appeal, then you need to do a number of things.

Preserving the record for appeal

To increase your chances of success on appeal, you need to develop a robust record and preserve various issues for appeal. These tips might help you do both when you first present your claim:

  • Be diligent: You don’t want to miss an opportunity by overlooking important evidence that could have tipped the scales in your favor. Be sure to speak with witnesses and gather evidence that is relevant and helpful to your case.
  • Utilize expert witnesses: Judges aren’t medical experts. As such, they rely on testimony regarding your condition and how it affects your ability to work. An expert who is well respected in his or her field can lend a lot of weight to your case and make sure that an appellate judge has all of the information he or she needs to reach an appropriate conclusion.
  • Make and meet objections: If you don’t object to certain legal tactics, then you waive that issue on appeal. This means that you can’t later come back and challenge it. You can face similar problems if you don’t properly respond to an objection or make an offer of proof, which is where you essentially tell a judge why you think he or she was wrong in not allowing your evidence in. This tacks technical legal know how, but can be of critical importance.
  • Know how to make appellate argument: Handling a case on appeal is much different than handling an initial claim. Here, your attention needs to be turned toward the legality of the case, rather than the mere facts. The only exception is if it’s clear that the initial judge made a decision that went against the weight of the evidence.

Keeping your eye on the end goal

In the end, you simply need the resources necessary to protect your financial security while you focus on your recovery and getting back to work. But protecting yourself requires strong legal advocacy. That’s where an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may prove useful.

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Let Us Guide You Through The Process

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may have many questions about the financial benefits available to you under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system. You should know that you only have a limited amount of time to report your work injury and make a claim for workers’ comp benefits. Therefore, it is important to have a New Jersey workers compensation attorney review your claim as soon as possible to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injuries. Please call 866-916-3549 or contact our office using our convenient online contact form to arrange a free consultation. Our injury attorneys do not charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.

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Our client, a nurse at a long-term care center, suffered a work-related herniated disk injury in her back. As a result of her preexisting medical condition and her herniated disk, the court found that the client was totally disabled and awarded the client lifetime weekly disability payments and medical coverage for life.

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