What should a Worker expect at Worker’s Compensation Trial?

Most of the Workers’ Compensation cases get resolved by settlement. Only the workers’ compensation cases in dispute are needed to be resolved through workers’ compensation trial.  According to an estimate only 5% of the workers’ compensation cases go for a trial.

What to expect at a Workers’ Compensation Trial?

A workers’ compensation trial is referred to as ‘hearing’ but the more accurate term used in case of workers’ compensation is ‘evidentiary hearing.’ The employee needs to provide admissible evidence on the contested issues. And if the employee fails to provide required evidence, there are the chances of losing the case. So the employees should go for pre-trial preparation with the attorney.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the role of an administrative judge is to rule on objections, review the evidence and decide the case or provide ruling after trials. He cannot assist you in preparing or presenting evidence. So you need the help or services on a certified and experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney for:

  • Preparing your evidence
  • Presenting your evidence
  • Explaining the Rules of Evidence

Evidentiary Hearing can further be divided into two categories:

  1. Hardship Hearing: Hardship Hearing is requested by the employee’s attorney when there is a dispute about the medical treatment, payment of temporary total disability benefits or both. Judge usually issues a “temporary or partial award “for hardship hearing; meaning that judge makes ruling on certain issues but case remains on judge’s docket.
  2. Final Hearing: A ‘final hearing’ is an evidentiary hearing requested by either of the parties when all of the medical treatments have been concluded and both the parties have prepared their medical evidence and other expert evidence for the evidentiary hearing.

Decision of Court:

The decision provided by court after the evidentiary hearing is known as ‘award.’ An ‘award’ is similar to a judgement in circuit court. It is called an ‘award’ even if the employee receives no compensation.

What type of evidence is needed to be provided by an employee?

An employee needs to provide the following evidence:

  • Testimonies of the employee and other witnesses
  • Medical evidence including certified copies of medical records and testimonies of doctors
  • Doctor can provide a deposition and testify during hearing
  • Doctor’s reports (if needed)

After the employees have presented the evidence, the employer/insurer will also present its evidence. They also provide medical evidence in the form of certified medical records and/or physician’s testimony. Everything said during the evidentiary hearing is recorded by the court reporter and all the exhibits for identification are marked.

After all the evidence is presented, the judge may allow both the parties a short period of 21 days or less to file ‘briefs.’ ‘Briefs’ are the written statements pertaining to facts and the law and refuting each party’s position as to how the case should be resolved.

The ‘award’ is issued as soon as the administrative law judge has reviewed all the evidence and considered the ‘briefs.’ According to the law, the ‘award’ should be issued within 90 days of the last day of hearing. The award is mailed to the employee, to employer or insurance company, and to all the attorneys in the case. An appeal can be filed on the ‘award’ by any of the party.

Contact Law Office of Andrew S. Kasmer, if you need legal counsel and expert representation for workers’ compensation trial. Our dedicated attorneys will offer you aggressive and personalized representation and will help you to get what you deserve.

What are the Injuries and Illnesses Covered under Workers’ Compensation?

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Workers’ Compensation often called ‘workers’ comp’ is a type of insurance that is purchased by employers for the coverage of their employees’ employment-related illness and injuries.  While workers compensation is mandated and governed by state law, some of the injuries that it covers will be different from state to state.  But most commonly, any injury that arises “out of the course of employment” i.e. if you are injured or become ill doing something for the benefit of the employer, then your injury is work-related and you are eligible to receive the benefits as long as you meet other eligibility requirements.

 

Which types of injuries are covered under Workers’ Compensation?

Although being eligible for workers’ compensation benefits may seem simple, at times it may get tricky.  The following types of injuries noted below are covered under workers ‘compensation:

  • Company Events:If a worker is injured during special events that are sponsored by the company, such as parties, picnics, baseball or football matches, their injuries are usually covered by workers’ compensation.

 

  • Travel: If you are injured while travelling (in the course of your job duties?) for your work, then your injuries will probably be covered, but if you are injured while commuting to or from your work, then such injuries are not covered under workers’ compensation. If you are a travelling salesperson and who suffers an injury while driving to meet your client, then this type of injury is covered by workers’ compensation.

 

  • Repetitive Motion Injuries:These types of injuries are also known as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDS) or repetitive stress injuries (RSIS) because they are caused by repetitive motions of the body, they are the most common type of work-related injuries, and therefore, they are covered under workers’ compensation.

 

  • Injuries:Illnesses caused to the skin, eye, lungs or any other bodily parts, because of long term exposure to chemical solvents or other toxic and or hazardous solutions on the job, are covered under workers’ compensation.

 

  • Related Injuries:Illnesses that gradually arise out of work conditions, such as emotional illness or stress-related digestive disorders are recognized by courts and covered under workers’ compensation.  Workers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) after witnessing certain traumatic events are eligible for workers’ compensation.

 

  • Workers’ Death:Dependents of an employee who is killed on the job or dies due to work related injuries or illness are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

 

  • Misconduct:If an injury occurs when you break your office’ safety rules or while doing something that is prohibited by your employer, depending on the level of your misconduct, your injury may still be covered under workers’ compensation.

 

  • Pre-existing Conditions:If you suffer from certain pre-existing conditions and your job duties have aggravated your condition, then your injury will probably be covered under workers’ compensation.

 

  • Hearing Loss:People working in noisy environments, such as construction sites or manufacturing plants, often suffer from hearing loss over time.  As long as there is no other obvious reason for such hearing impairment it is covered by workers’ compensation.

 

Workers Compensation covers most type of employees including:

 

  • Casual workers
  • Volunteers
  • Independent Contractors
  • Employees of private homes
  • Farmers and farmhands
  • Business owners
  • Maritime and railroad employees

 

Most of the accidents or injuries that occur at worksites are covered under workers’ compensation, but they can also bring about or cause potential lawsuits.  If your employer is acting in a reckless manner and disputing your workers’ compensation claim, Contact the Law Office of Andrew S. Kasmer.  Our dedicated and certified attorneys will evaluate your claim and offer you aggressive and personalized representation.