A workers’ compensation hearing allows you to present your case before the workers’ compensation commissioner, when a decision on your claim seems is unfair to you. A workers’ comp hearing is a formal proceeding held in the presence of a judge. A hearing is not about meeting with your employer to resolve your differences. It’s about winning or losing your claim. Therefore, prepare for the proceedings in advance with your lawyer.
Breakdown of the Events at a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
You will appear at the hearing with your attorney. Your employer will also have a legal team. Expect the organization to come prepared to minimize the impact of your injuries and the validity of your claim. You can expect attorneys for your Des Moines company to present some evidence, like surveillance camera footage, that seems to indicate that your injuries are not impeding your quality of life.
For instance, if you have claimed a serious leg injury that leaves you disabled, but have posted pictures of you on a walk with your family on Facebook recently, expect your employer to use those pictures as evidence that your injuries are not very severe. Social media provides a valuable treasure trove of evidence that attorneys can use to their benefit. As a worker, you can expect your employer and attorney to display this aggressive behavior.
Typically, during a hearing, you will sit with your lawyer at a table, and in front of the hearing judge. Your attorney and the employer’s attorney will make opening statements. After this, your attorney will present your case. S/he may call witnesses, and cross-examine them. After your attorney presents your case, the employer’s attorney will submit their case. They may also call witnesses. You may get a chance to present evidence to rebut any of the allegations your company makes.
You have the right to a trial, and you can expect the judge to protect your rights. The judge will follow appropriate trial procedures and will also rule on any objections that are made during the proceedings. The judge will go through all the pieces of evidence that presented.
Handling the Final Outcome of a Workman’s Comp Hearing
Different judges deal with these hearings in various ways, and it helps if your attorney is familiar with the Des Moines judge’s working style. After all arguments, both attorneys will present their closing statements, after which the judge will decide. A decision may come immediately, or after a few days.
Appearing before a workers’ compensation hearing is nerve-racking, but you will find it easier if you prepare for the discussion with your attorney beforehand. A Des Moines workers’ compensation lawyer at Walker, Billingsley & Bair can take you through the process and guide you on how to present your case in the best possible manner by calling (888) 435-9886.