Common Arguments For Denying Workers' Compensation

Posted on: 20 May 2019

When looking at a workers' compensation claim, it's worth considering how it might be denied. This is especially the case if you have already dealt with one rejection and are heading toward appealing the denial. Here are some common arguments that every workers' compensation attorney has heard at some point.

The Client Isn't an Employee

Many companies hire independent contractors in order to skirt certain laws, including those governing worker injuries. The question of whether a contractor is actually an employee for legal purpose largely hinges on how independent their job is. If you set your own hours and send in invoices, you're probably a contractor. This is good cause to deny a claim. If you're told when to show up and are given pay like anyone else, then you may be considered an employee. There's a good chance you'll be able to pursue a compensation claim.

A Worker Wasn't on the Clock

Another story that every workers' compensation attorney services firm has heard at some point is that an employee wasn't on the clock when they were hurt. This could happen during lunch, on a break, or even on the way to or from work. In general, if your activities at the time benefited your employer, you're considered to be on the clock. For example, if you got hurt while getting coffee that your manager asked you to get while you were on a break, then you have grounds for pursuing a claim.

The Injuries Aren't Work-Related

For obvious reasons, an employer doesn't want to be on the hook for compensating injuries that didn't happen on the job. Especially when dealing with repetitive injuries, employers may try to show that the injuries didn't occur at work. Even non-repetitive injuries may be treated this way, particularly if they weren't reported right away.


It's important to try to be as cooperative as possible in dealing with your employer and their insurer. There are many cases where employees will be asked to visit a doctor of the insurer's choice. You will likely have to cooperate with this sort of thing. The best solution to the problem is to also seek medical advice on your own. This will allow your workers' compensation attorney to present a potentially different view of what happened.

Document everything. If you're asked to schedule an appointment, get names, addresses and phone numbers from the medical organization you're sent to.