How to Prepare for Your Workers' Compensation Hearing
Workers’ compensation hearings are typically scheduled due to a dispute regarding an injured worker’s entitlement to benefits or the amount of benefits he or she should receive. Although many cases settle, some disputes – such as whether an injury is work related or regarding the degree of a worker’s permanent disability – go through the hearing process.
Injured workers may need to testify at their hearings, so it is imperative to prepare for this before it occurs. While it is not a good idea to memorize your testimony (it may sound rehearsed), you should have specific key facts in your mind. Furthermore, you can help your attorney prepare for the hearing by providing as much information as you can about your injury and your case.
The following are several things you need to do to prepare for your meeting:
- Summarize how your accident or injuries occurred. If the insurance provider claims that your injury is not covered by workers’ compensation, there will most like be questions about how your accident transpired. Review all accident reports and medical records which describe your accident. Ensure the description of the events coincide with those found in your records.
- Explain your current symptoms and limitations. If you are involved in a dispute about whether or not you can return to work or the degree of your disability, you should be able to identify your current symptoms and physical limitations.
- Create a timeline of your medical treatment. Have a basic recollection of which doctors you have visited, any diagnoses and treatments you’ve received, and the restrictions you have at work.
- Speak with your coworkers or other potential witnesses. You may need witnesses to support your claim. Inform your lawyer about any coworkers who witnessed your accident or loved ones or close friends who understand the full extent of your injuries.