The First Step
If you've been injured on the job, you probably have a ton of questions. I understand. You are concerned about your family and your livelihood. My suggestion is the first step you should take before anything else is to read my book, Win Your Injury Case. I wrote it to help folks like you, good people who got hurt on the job. You can order a free copy and I will cover the shipping too.
Seems Simple, Far From It
After agonizing months of fighting with your employer for medical benefits, you are ready for your day in court. Once and for all, you will have an answer on whether or not you should get payment for an injury sustained on the job. You’re not too worried; your doctor is willing to testify on your behalf, and the injury definitely took place on work property. It should be an open-and-shut case, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, many victims fail to understand that a work injury does not always guarantee compensation. Even if you have a legitimate work injury claim, you will still have to fight to get the benefits you are rightfully owed—and one small slip can lose you the payments you need for your medical bills and loss of income.
What Should I Do to Prepare for a Workers’ Compensation Trial?
In California, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) will hear your case. Although the word “appeals” is somewhat confusing, it is not an appeals court: this is the trial court where your workers’ compensation court claim will be decided. There are many things you should do both before and during your trial to help your case, including:
Know the rules.
For each step you must take before trial, it is imperative that you meet all necessary deadlines and qualifications for California workers’ compensation procedure. Until you get to trial, your injury will be judged by the paperwork you fill out rather than whether you “deserve” workers’ compensation, so you should make every effort to comply with court filing requirements in a timely manner.
Bring your evidence.
Before your trial begins, there will be a session known as the Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC). You are required to attend with all of the evidence (usually medical records or reports) that you and your attorney intend to use during the trial. If you are not prepared, your case may be delayed or even dismissed.
Tell the truth.
It is vital that you tell the truth in all of your depositions, statements, and testimony. In order to win your case, the judge must believe every aspect of what you are saying. The opposing attorney will probably attempt to attack your credibility by attempting to show that your injury is not as serious as you say it is, or that some portion of the accident was your fault. It is important that you never lie under oath, so you should practice your testimony with your attorney to make sure that your answers are both true and supportive to your case.
Injured Workers Should Always Ask for Help in a Compensation Case
The biggest mistake an employee can make is trying to represent themselves in a workers’ compensation case.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.