Workers’ comp cases are often settled on their own, but sometimes they do go to court. This can be a frightening and overwhelming experience for anyone. Find out what you need to know if your workers’ comp case has to go to court.
How to Find an Attorney
Although you don’t have to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you, it’s highly recommended. Ask your friends for recommendations, or search for positive reviews online. You’ll be able to meet with the lawyer for an initial consultation before you have to make up your mind whether or not to hire him or her.
What Happens before the Trial?
Before the trial, your lawyer will be busy collecting evidence to help prove your case. He or she will speak with your doctor and any other employees who were present at the time of your injury. You and other witnesses may be asked to give a deposition at an attorney’s office to take down your sworn statements. Your medical evidence will be reviewed by a board of experts who will summarize their findings for the judge.
What to Wear to the Trial
It’s best to dress up a little–a tie for men and a dress or skirt for women–when you go to court. At the very least, make sure your clothes are clean and well maintained. Keep your wardrobe, makeup, and jewelry simple and conservative.
Who Will Be Present at the Trial?
Workers’ comp trials are decided by a judge, not a jury. A court reporter will record everything that is said during the trial. Also present, of course, will be the witnesses and lawyers involved in the trial. You may or may not be allowed to bring a friend or family member along as moral support.
How Long Will the Trial Take?
Some trials just take a few minutes to resolve, while others may take months or even years. It all depends on how much you and the insurance company can agree upon beforehand. Expect to be in court for at least the better part of the day for an average case. You will receive the judge’s decision in the mail, usually several weeks after the trial date.
If you’re still not sure how to get started with the process, contact the Law Office of Nathaniel F. Hansford today. We can help you figure out how to navigate the process