Workers Compensation Hearings: What to Expect!
When you file a worker’s compensation claim, you will still want to work with an Olympic workers compensation attorney, even though you won’t be participating in a typical jury trial. Instead, an administrative law judge (ALJ) will oversee an evidentiary hearing, which is more commonly called a bench trial. You might also hear it referred to in less formal terms as the “employee’s day in court,” though all of these terms mean the same thing.
At the start of the hearing, your Ventura County workers compensation attorney and the attorney working for your employer will lay out the issues of your case. The proceeding doesn’t officially begin, until the judge has an understanding of the case. At this point, the judge “calls the case” and instructs the court reporter to begin recording the session. The case will be officially summarized by the judge at this point, so the issues will go on the official hearing transcript.
As the hearing proceeds, the injured employee, or plaintiff, will testify under oath about the injuries, causes of the injuries, and medical treatments received. He or she may present medical documents as evidence, or the workers compensation attorneys Los Angeles CA working for the plaintiff may call additional witnesses. Just like any trial, the defense attorney may cross-examine witnesses, including the plaintiff.
The plaintiff’s attorney may also present evidence to show justification for the assessment of attorney fees. This step in the process only comes after the plaintiff has finished presenting his or her case.
The next step in the process involves the defense’s case presentation. The employer and the insurance company, which represents the employer, may call witnesses or introduce evidence that disputes the plaintiff’s claims. This may include evidence that seeks to disprove the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries.
After the hearing is closed, each side will submit a brief to the judge. These briefs will provide a summary of each side’s case and will describe the evidence used to support the case. The judge will study the briefs and the laws relating to the case, before coming to a final decision.
As this brief overview establishes, a successful worker’s compensation claim requires the expertise of an attorney. A legal professional experienced in worker’s compensation law, such as the professionals at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sobo, can help you prepare your case. Working with a legal advocate can increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome in your case.
Do not be ignored, avoid lengthy or unanswered telephone calls, facsimiles, and/or electronic mail. Some attorney's offices fail to return calls or act upon any reasonable requests. Avoid being ignored by your attorney. Upon contacting The Law Offices of STEVEN M. SOBO, you will receive immediate, competent assistance and a thorough explanation of your inquiry. Feel free, at any time, to schedule a telephone or office appointment; it will be immediately scheduled upon request.