A workers compensation case can end through two methods; a settlement or a court hearing. For instance, if your employer denies your claim or fails to reach an agreement, your case will likely end in court. Although a court trial is more complicated with lengthy proceedings, it might be the only solution for some workers compensation cases.
At a court hearing, you'll need to convince the judge that you deserve a particular benefit. Most injured workers prefer to consult with top workers compensation lawyers in Lancaster, PA, to prepare for the hearing adequately. Since most attorneys charge on a contingency basis, you'll be able to afford the fees.
Preparing Yourself for the Hearing Preparation is vital in a court hearing. It helps you avoid surprises that may throw you off balance and make you uncomfortable in front of a judge. Before the trial, meet with your lawyer to help you prepare on how to testify.
Your lawyer will teach you some basic rules about answering questions and practice likely questions with you. Most importantly, ensure you organize your evidence, like medical reports and bills.
The Hearing Itself Parties that Attend a Workers Compensation Hearing The key people involved and that will be present in a court hearing includes:
● You and your attorney
● The attorney representing the insurance company
● The workers compensation judge will be there.
● Witnesses, if any.
Other parties that may be present include a representative from your employer or the insurance company and a court reporter.
How to Act Part of a judge's duty is to watch your demeanor to determine your credibility. It's essential that you act calm, friendly, and answer all questions honestly. Don't exaggerate the details to gain sympathy as the judge is probably familiar with, and can detect such acts. If you're evading questions or being hostile, it'll be detrimental to your case.
Presenting Evidence Both you and the other party will have an opportunity to present evidence. This evidence may include certified medical records, medical bills, employment records, proof of lost income, eyewitness, and expert witness testimonies.
Your Testimony The judge will first place you under oath where you'll swear to tell the truth. Your lawyer will then question you, after which the insurer's lawyer will ask you questions in cross-examination. Some questions to expect include details about:
● Your employment including job duties, wages, and working hours
● Medical history
● How the injury occurred and the reporting procedure you followed
● Your current symptoms and any injuries limiting your work
What Happens Next The judge may not decide the case at the first hearing. He may schedule a second hearing, which will involve depositions of medical experts. This hearing is optional for you and only requires the presence of both attorneys.
The judge will schedule a final hearing for evidence, and he'll take between 30 to 90 days before issuing a written decision. If his decision isn't favorable to you, you can go for an appeal.
Conclusion Litigations are quite challenging. However, preparation is the key to winning. Hire one of the top workers comp lawyers in Lancaster, PA, to help your case.