Many workers’ compensation cases are fairly straightforward, and most claimants can get the benefits they need without a hearing. However, if your employer’s insurer decides to dispute your claim, you might have to appear before a worker’s compensation judge. While this experience might seem intimidating, careful preparation and the help of a skilled legal professional can ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
5 Steps to Preparing for a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
1. Hire an Attorney
Successfully navigating the workers’ compensation process requires extensive legal knowledge and access to medical experts and other professional resources. In addition to collecting and preparing your evidence, your attorney will also represent you during the hearing and interact with the judge on your behalf.
2. Prepare a Timeline of Your Accident
It’s normal to get nervous when testifying before a judge, but this can cause you to make simple mistakes and leave out important details. Preparing a comprehensive timeline will help you organize your thoughts and prepare your testimony.
3. Prepare Your Medical Evidence
The insurance company has a right to review all of your medical records, and the board itself will need evidence that proves you’re unable to work. Your attorney will usually work with your health care providers to get the necessary documentation but tell them about every doctor you’ve seen.
4. Gather Your Earning Statements
In addition to medical treatment, your workers’ compensation award should also include any wages you’ve lost as a result of your injuries. Your attorney will likely need your past earning statements, especially if you won’t be able to return to your previous position.
5. Review the Accident Report
During the hearing, you might be asked to describe how your injuries occurred or what your doctor said. Insurance companies may use any inconsistency as an excuse to deny your claim, so review the initial accident report and medical records to refresh your memory.
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident or developed a workplace injury, the professionals at Vincent J. Criscuolo & Associates in Rochester, NY, will fight for your rights and the benefits you deserve. For over 30 years, their attorneys have consistently provided a level of service that has earned them recognition as one of the Top One Percent in the nation by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Visit their website for more on their workers’ compensation services or call (585) 232-3240 for a free consultation.