Fighting for your right to receive workers compensation after you have sustained an on-the-job injury should be easier than it often feels. Going to court is always stressful, but going to court when you are ill or injured as a result of your work can be even more stressful.
In this post, learn 9 ways to fight a workers compensation case.
Way 1: Hire an attorney that specializes in workers compensation cases.
Just like different physicians may practice different kinds of medicine, so do different attorneys often practice different kinds of law.
You will get your best advantage in court if your attorney specializes in workers compensation courses, so be sure to pick your lawyer carefully.
Way 2: Prepare thoroughly for your deposition.
A deposition is an event that happens prior to taking your workers compensation case to court.
Depositions, like court trials, can cause a lot of stress. Sometimes stress can be misinterpreted. To keep your stress low, practice with your lawyer until you can answer commonly asked questions with ease on deposition day and again in court.
Way 3: Go through your outcome options in advance.
Your workers compensation case may have several possible outcomes. For instance, the other side may offer a settlement to avoid going to court.
“You should talk through your options with your attorney and any other affected parties in advance and decide what you are willing to accept and if you are willing to settle out of court or you are determined to take the case to trial,” said the Law Offices of Briles & Associates.
Way 4: Carefully consider the best case outcome scenario.
Remember, even if you win your case, there are still other parties that can have influence over the final outcome. For instance, your state’s workers compensation agency must approve any proposed settlement, as must the judge/hearing officer.
So if you do choose to settle, make sure you are really satisfied with the offer and communicate that to the other interested parties clearly.
Way 5: Keep EVERYTHING in meticulously labeled files.
The judicial system runs strictly on evidence. Eyewitness accounts, receipts, workplace training records and other documents will be a great aid in supporting your case.
As well, since it can take time to get your medical expenses paid under workers compensation, keeping meticulous files will ensure you can apply for reimbursement with full documentation if the awarded funds are slow in coming.
Way 6: Know that in many cases, you can reopen a claim later.
If you opted not to settle out of court and your case went to trial and was concluded, there are certain circumstances, such as a worsening of your work-related disability, that permit you to reopen the case and sue again.
But typically you only have 5 years from the date the original claim was resolved to do this, so plan wisely!
Way 7: If your initial claim is denied, you can also continue to fight through filing an appeal.
Each state is permitted to structure its own workers compensation plan, as is the federal government. So it is important to follow the outlined procedures applicable in your state to file your appeal.
Appeals can be successful, but you will need persistence and documentation (and often a skilled attorney) to reopen a case with success.
Way 8: Know whether to pursue workers compensation or personal injury.
Workers compensation payouts are typically determined by the amount of workers compensation benefits you would be entitled to based on the length and severity of your injury or illness. Here, you cannot expect extra damages, such as for pain and suffering.
But with personal injury cases, you can ask for an extra payout for your pain and suffering. So consider carefully the best route for your case.
Way 9: Persist, persist, persist.
Unfortunately, even though you are already paying the price of your employer’s negligence, actually winning your case and getting that workers compensation payout you deserve will take persistence, patience and more persistence.
Do NOT give up – persistence often wins the day when nothing else can.