In many cases, companies settle workers’ compensation claims outside of a courtroom. The injured party files their claim and receives the benefits available to them. But in some cases, workers’ compensation claims to go to trial. What should you know before your workers’ comp claim goes to trial?
There are many reasons why workers’ compensation claims might go to trial. The most common reason is that the employer and insurance company contest the claim, and the matter must be resolved by a judge or jury. Other reasons can include disagreements over the extent of the injury or the number of benefits owed.
In some cases, going to trial may be the only way to get the full benefits that you are entitled to under the workers’ compensation laws. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and fight for the maximum benefits available to you.
If you’ve been injured at work, you may be wondering if your case will end up in front of a judge. Here are some factors that may affect your case:
- Severity of your injuries: If you’ve suffered serious injuries, you may be more likely to go to trial. This is because your damages may be higher, and the insurance company may be more likely to dispute your claim.
- Disputed amount: If there’s a large amount of money at stake, the insurance company may be more likely to fight your claim.
- Jurisdiction: Some states are more likely to see workers’ compensation cases go to trial than others.
- Insurance company: Some insurers are more likely to fight claims than others.
If your workplace injury case goes to trial, there are a few things you should know to be prepared.
First, understand that the workers’ compensation system is no-fault. This means that to receive benefits, you don’t need to prove fault. Even if your employer was not at fault for your injury, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Regulated by the State
Second, keep in mind that workers’ compensation is a state-regulated system, so the rules and procedures can vary from state to state. In some states, judges hear workers’ compensation cases, while in others it’s a board or commission overseeing these claims.
If your workers’ comp claim goes to trial, exactly what happens depends on the state in which the case is heard.
Burden of Proof
Third, be aware that the burden of proof in a workers’ compensation trial is different than in other types of cases. In a workers’ compensation trial, the injured worker only needs to prove that he or she was injured while on the job. The employer does not need to prove that the worker was at fault for the injury.
Insurance Company Involvement
Fourth, know that in most workers’ compensation cases, an insurance company represents the employer. This means that there will likely be a team of lawyers working on your case. Be prepared to face aggressive questioning from the other side.
Finally, keep in mind that a workers’ compensation trial can be a long and stressful process. It’s important to have patience and to understand that the outcome of your case may not be known for months or even years.
What should you know before a workers comp claim goes to trial? First and foremost, you need the guidance and support of an experienced attorney.