If you suffer a workplace injury, you should be able to count on your employer to take care of you. If this doesn’t happen, your Tampa workers comp attorney can always file an appeal. If this happens, you will need to attend a workers compensation hearing.
Here, we’ll explain what happens at these hearings and how you can best prepare.
Why Would You Need to Attend a Workers Compensation Hearing?
Most of the time, your Tampa workers compensation lawyer is able to resolve your claim rather quickly. It all depends on why your claim was denied in the first place. However, there are times when you have no choice but to file a formal appeal.
When this happens, both you and your employer will have the opportunity to say your peace. You will be required to attend a workers compensation hearing before the Florida Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC).
The good news is that your Tampa workers compensation lawyer will attend this hearing with you.
Was Your Claim Denied?
If your claim was denied, your Tampa workers comp attorney will try to work things out with the insurance company. They will find out why your claim was denied and see what they can do to resolve the issue.
Of course, not all appeals are successful. There are times when the insurance carrier simply refuses to pay your claim. If this is the case, your workers compensation lawyer in Tampa will demand to find out why.
Then, they will file your petition for an appeal with the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.
Your Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyer May Need to File an Appeal
If your employer and their insurance carrier are adamant about not paying your claim, don’t panic. Your lawyer can help you file an appeal. However, it is important to know that it can take anywhere from three to four months for your workers compensation hearing to take place.
During this time, you may be out of work and receiving no income. Appealing your claim may be the right thing to do, but it won’t help you pay your bills. This is why your Tampa workers comp attorney will continue to negotiate a settlement.
It’s a Good Idea to Know Who Will Be Present at the Hearing
When you prepare for your workers compensation hearing, you need to know who will be there. It’s similar to any other civil hearing. You and your attorney will obviously attend the hearing.
Your employer and the insurance company will also be there. More than likely, they’ll both just send a representative on their behalf. Usually, companies send their Human Resources director or manager. As for the insurance company, the adjuster may appear on their behalf.
Your Tampa Workers Comp Attorney Will Be There with Your Witnesses
Your lawyer may also need to bring witnesses there to testify on your behalf. If there were coworkers who saw what happened to you, your Tampa workers comp attorney will ask them to make a statement.
Even if the witnesses don’t need to testify in person, your lawyer will need to submit a copy of their statement. This can be done via an affidavit signed by your witness.
Your Tampa Workers Compensation Lawyer Has Been There Before
You should remember that your Tampa workers comp attorney has been to many of these hearings. They’re familiar with the process and know how to prepare you for the workers compensation hearing.
Having a lawyer by your side will make things go by a lot easier. You will have someone there by your side throughout the entire process.
Your Tampa Workers Comp Attorney Can Help Prepare You With Questions
There are certain questions you’ll have to answer during the workers compensation hearing. Our Tampa workers compensation lawyers are familiar with these questions. They tend to ask the same types of questions at every hearing.
- You’ll be asked to describe what you were doing in the minutes before your workplace accident.
- You will also have to explain what happened and how you suffered your injuries.
- The examiner may ask you to explain your physical injuries in detail.
- Your Tampa workers comp attorney will have to submit evidence supporting your claim for workers comp benefits.
- You will be asked to describe the efforts you’ve made to recover so you can return to work.
Of course, there are other questions you’ll have to answer. However, your Tampa workers compensation lawyer will make sure you are fully prepared.
Will the Judge Make Their Decision the Day of the Hearing?
One major difference between your workers compensation appeals hearing and a regular hearing is that the judge won’t make a decision that day. You may not receive the judge’s final order for a month or two.
This can be frustrating. Not only will you be left in the dark, but you’ll also go without an income for yet another month. Depending on how the workers compensation hearing goes, your Tampa workers compensation lawyer will try one more time to settle the matter. This way, you may not have to wait another month or longer to start receiving benefits.
This is Not the Kind of Thing You’ll Want to Handle on Your Own
If your workers compensation claim is initially denied, you do have the option of filing an appeal. While there is no requirement that you hire a Tampa workers comp attorney to handle this for you, it’s a good idea to do so.
As discussed here, a workers compensation hearing can be a very intimidating event. It’s uncomfortable for many workers who have retained a Tampa workers compensation lawyer. You can imagine how frightening it may be if you’re handling things on your own.
We suggest you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Not only can we explain how the workers compensation hearing works, we can always let you know if we think your claim will be approved.
Since the consultation is free, it’s in your best interest to at least talk to a seasoned Tampa workers comp attorney today.