Workers Comp Hearing Process: What to Expect and How to Prepare

If you have suffered an injury during the course of your employment, you may be entitled to various benefits, including wage reimbursements and medical benefits. In case your initial claim is rejected, you will be entitled to a workers comp hearing to appeal the decision.

Read on to find out what the hearing process entails and why you should work closely with a Miami workers compensation attorney to ensure the success of your claim.

Key Steps in Your Claims Process

The workers compensation claim process is complex, involving multiple steps, but here are the most important parts to keep in mind when you set out to recover benefits for a work-related injury or illness.

1. Reporting the Injury

The workers compensation process in Miami, Florida begins by reporting the injury to your employer. This report must be done within 30 days from the date that the injury occurred, alternatively the date that the injury was diagnosed by a doctor.

In order to avoid further legal and administrative disputes, it is important to report the injury as soon as possible.

2. Filing a Claim

When you have reported the injury, your employer will file a workers compensation claim with the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. If the employer fails to report the injury the injured employee can also file the claim themselves. This can be done by visiting the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation website.

It is again important to note that the time period applicable for filing a workers comp claim is two years from the date of injury or diagnosis.

3. Denial or Approval

Once the claim has been filed the relevant department will investigate the claim. If the claim has been approved the injured party will receive benefits. If however the claim has been denied you have a right to appeal the decision. The appeal process will involve a workers comp hearing.

Preparing for the Workers Comp Hearing

If your claim is denied and you request a hearing, here are some steps to prepare:

an attorney can help you overturn a denied workers comp claim

Hire a Lawyer

As the hearing is a formal process being heard by a judge, it will be in your best interest to hire an attorney to act on your behalf. The attorney will guide you through the hearing process, helping you prepare for your case by gathering evidence, understanding legal terminology and ensuring that all processes have been followed.

Your Miami workers comp attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Gather Evidence

At the hearing, evidence will need to be presented to the judge. This can include medical records, statements from witnesses and other documents or photos which may support your claim. Your lawyer will be able to advise on what evidence you will need to present.

Prepare Your Testimony

The judge may request that the employee who has been injured will need to testify at the hearing. You may be required to testify on the events leading up to the injury, the nature of the injury as well as relating to any medical treatment received. Your attorney will ensure that your testimony is consistent with the evidence provided.

The Hearing

The hearing itself is a formal proceeding that takes place before a judge. The judge will not have reviewed your case beforehand, so it’s important to present all relevant information during the hearing.

Opening Statements

The injured employee as well as the opposing party will have a chance to make an opening statement, providing the judge with a summary of the case they intend to present.

Presentation of Evidence

The injured employee will present their evidence to the judge. Evidence will include medical records, testimonies and statements and all other documents on which the claim is based. Your legal representative will ensure that the evidence is presented in a logical manner.

Cross-Examination

The employee as well as any witnesses the employee called will be cross examined on their evidence. The purpose of cross examination is to find inconsistencies which will discredit your evidence, thus excluding it from the hearing.

Closing Statements

Finally, both sides will have a chance to provide a summary of their case to the judge, emphasizing the required outcome they hope to achieve.

A Miami Workers Comp Attorney Can Help With Your Hearing

Workers comp hearings can be complex and confusing. By being able to prepare and knowing what to expect you can make the process less daunting.

With a Miami workers compensation lawyer from Work Injury Rights by your side, you can ensure that all administrative and legal processes have been followed.

Contact us at 954-324-COMP to schedule your consultation!