Often, disputes will arise in your workers’ compensation claim that require a decision by a judge. The types of disputes that might require such a decision include such things as:
- disagreement about which doctor should be authorized as a treating physician
- whether the insurance company’s termination of benefits is appropriate
- delays by the insurance company in sending out checks and penalties that may be appropriate
In the past, if I found myself in disagreement with the insurance adjuster or defense counsel, my only recourse was to request a hearing. The problem with this option has to do with timing – the State Board dockets are full and it may take weeks or even months to get a hearing scheduled. Further, my hearing request would likely trigger depositions, motions to produce and other costly and time consuming procedures.
Fortunately, State Board judges are increasingly open to helping the parties resolve these disputes in brief conference calls that can be scheduled in a few days or weeks rather than full blown hearings. Conference calls are not appropriate for every type of dispute but I have found them to be indispensable when I need to “encourage” the insurance company to speed up their payment processes, or to approve an emergency medical procedure. In this video I discuss how these conference calls work and when I use them.
Speeding Up the Process with a Conference Call to the Judge on my Vimeo law channel.