What to Expect When You Go to a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
If you’ve lost hope from your employer and the insurance company that was meant to cover you for job-related injuries it could really be heartbreaking. It is a sign of arrogance on part of your employer along with the insurance carrier and their team of lawyers. Do not fret though! The legal system will be able to provide you with justice once you claim workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, it can be a long and tedious process with many negotiations and meetings undertaken for settling the issue. No worries if you cannot get it settled though. A judge will intervene in the matter and a formal decision will be reached at a hearing thereby concluding the case.
It is advisable to remain fully prepared for presenting your statements and convince the judge in your favor, therefore. It makes sense to be aware of the rules and regulations and the process involved before you appear in front of the court for the hearing. It is also important to be aware of workers’ compensation laws. Let’s talk about the facts.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It is certainly difficult and often impossible to handle the entire process of workers’ compensation single-handedly. Getting in touch with a qualified lawyer who has both the experience and the expertise for arguing the case on your behalf is mandatory. An able attorney will be able to check the facts, collect the evidence, and present the case properly to the judge thereby brightening your chances of receiving the benefits considerably.
There is bound to be umpteen hearings to attend on different dates before the final hearing for workers’ compensation comes up. Meeting the lawyers of the insurance company along with a third party serving as the mediator may be scheduled in order to settle the matter out of court.
Attending every single meeting or pretrial procedures may not be feasible for you especially when you have to work for a living. Your lawyer will be able to represent you at these meetings and attempt to get you the required benefits for a work injury.
While there may be several people present at the hearing. A court hearing that is held to decide the veracity of your claim for being hurt on the job needs to be attended by the following. The hearing cannot proceed if any one of the following parties are not present.
- The Judge
- You & Your legal representative
- The attorney representing the insurance company
Every document pertaining to the case is handed over to the judge just before initiation of the hearing. Both the parties may present their set of documents that substantiate their own version. You may have to submit the following:
- All the medical records after being hospitalized post the injury
- Pay stubs as evidence of lost wages
- All pending medical bills
- Employment records
- Depositions provided by the eyewitnesses
You would have to share the details of the documents that you would be submitting to the insurance company lawyer, however.
Workers’ Comp Hearing Process
Sure, you will be questioned by the lawyers as well as the judge at the hearing. Remember, to be on time.
You may have to testify about getting injured on the job. This might include:
- Explanation of the facts that led to the injury
- Discussing the symptoms of the injury and explaining how it restricted you from performing to your potential
- Informing the judge about your normal duty along with stating your education and other skills that made you a valuable employee of the organization
- Revealing details about attempting to rejoin your duty and your inability to do so
However, simply testifying under oath will not be enough. You have to answer a number of questions put forth by your lawyer. You need to answer them truthfully without suppressing the facts. The lawyer of the insurance company may then cross-examine you by making additional queries.
Remember that the judge will not only be able to assess the facts from your testimony but will also be able to ascertain your credibility. The best way forward for you is to be polite and truthful rather than deceptive in order to receive the dues that you are entitled to.