What To Expect When You Are Involved In A Workers’ Compensation Case

what to expect from a workers comp case

When you’re involved in a workers’ compensation case, do you know precisely what you should expect to happen? You know for sure that this is necessary for you to file for your claim. But, what goes on in the process? What are your obligations to ensure it goes smoothly? What should you do and shouldn’t do? Especially when this is your first time, it’s normal that you’re going to feel confused.

Unfortunately, the truth is that many also take the workers’ compensation case for granted and lightly. But, you have to prepare for this very well. Do show up, and don’t be late. Depending on the circumstances of your case, some of these can also drag on longer than others. It takes time to settle it, your case might be suspended, and there may be many more other complications.

That said, you’ll learn more about everything you should expect once you’re involved in a workers’ compensation case.

1. You'll Need To Prepare The Necessary Documents

In a workers’ compensation trial, you’re generally claiming compensation or damages by being injured at work. The injury happened while you were at the workplace and during working hours.

It fits for you also to prepare all of the necessary documents. Necessarily, these are your medical documents to prove that, indeed, an injury happened. This would also include documents to prove any other further damages you may have suffered because of what happened in your workplace, and these can include occurrences that lead to mental health problems. Hence, even when you have a lawyer helping you out, you still have a lot to do by yourself regarding this. Your lawyer will only tell you what all the necessary documents are, but you have to do your part in procuring all these.

2. You'll Undergo An Evidentiary Hearing Procedure

A workers’ compensation case is also basically an evidentiary hearing procedure. This is the best phrase that’s used to describe a worker’s compensation trial.

So, what should you be expecting along this line?

An evidentiary hearing goes through the same or similar procedure as all other kinds of trials. The Rules Of Evidence are applied here; hence, the things mentioned above regarding the preparation of the necessary documents is essential. Never go to court empty-handed, or when you lack all of the required documents to support your claim. It’s your responsibility, through the help of your lawyer, to submit all of the relevant evidence in court. In doing so, you’re making your claim stronger. Without the submission of proper evidence from your end, you may even lose your case.

General types of evidence that you’re expected to prepare are the following:

  • Your oral testimony, and that of other witnesses
  • Medical testimony, forming your evidentiary documents, which are certified copies of medical records and written testimonies by your doctors

There are also two possible types of evidentiary hearings that you’ll go through. If you’re unfamiliar with the technicalities of these kinds of hearing, you don’t have to worry too much about that. With the help of an expert lawyer, you’ll be able to go through these as smoothly as possible:

  • Hardship Hearings: Employees can request this if they have to dispute any medical treatment or disability benefit payment. Especially if the compensation is denied whilst the treatment is ongoing.
  • Final Hearing: The hearing that either party can request, once medical treatments have all been completed, and not contested by.

After submitting all of the court-admissible evidence, the judge will review your evidence, admit or object to some, and then render a ruling.

3. You'll First Go Through A Settlement

When the Clerk of Court tells you that it’s now your turn for your case to be heard, it’s time for you to enter the courtroom. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a trial will be undertaken. At most, your lawyer will be called, to first start with a settlement. Your lawyer will negotiate a settlement first with the other party.

If the negotiation turns out to be solved, then your workers’ compensation claim is final and can be processed. Your employer will have around 30 days for them to pay out your claim. But, if it isn’t, that’s when you’re called in for a full-blown trial.

4. You'll Consistently Be Meeting With A Certain Group Of People

Do you know whom you’re going to meet regularly during your workers’ compensation case? During the final hearing of your case, you’ll come face-to-face regularly with the following individuals:

  • All the necessary witnesses
  • All the lawyers involved and hired by both parties, yourself included
  • The judge
  • The insurance carrier of the employer

5. You'll Be Required To Discuss Certain Information Thoroughly

When you’re in court, as the employee claiming benefits under the workers’ compensation case, you’re going to be required to discuss specific information thoroughly, but what information? You need to differentiate what you should say, and what you shouldn’t. Else, you might be giving out too much information that can also only harm your claim.

Some of the necessary information that you’ll have to prepare answers to are the following:

  • Employment Details: Which would include your position, the tasks you do concerning your job, your wage, and the length of your employment.
  • What You Are Experiencing: Whether or not your injuries have improved since receiving medical treatment, and other medical histories,
  • Medical History: This includes not only the medical treatment you received due to your injury but also the medical treatment

Conclusion

If you’re lucky enough, your workers’ compensation case can be solved through settlement. This can happen when you’re dealing with other parties that are very easy to deal with and talk to. Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky. There are instances when a workers’ compensation claim turns into a full-blown case.

When this is the case, it’s normal for you to feel confused or at a loss as to what you should do, and even expect. Thankfully, all the pointers above have got you covered, and now you’re well versed about everything that goes on when you’re involved in a workers’ compensation case.