Have you been physically injured on the job and are currently stuck in a disagreement with your employer? While it has been said that only about 5% of workers’ compensation cases ever reach trial, many victims suffer in silence as they are fearful and unsure of what to expect from a workers’ compensation trial.
We have good news! A workers’ compensation trial may not be as bad or complicated as you may think. In this process, the trial or an administrative hearing is between an injured worker and his or her employer, supervised by a ‘judge of compensation claims.’
The term “evidentiary hearing” is referred to in a worker’s compensation trial and uses the same protocols as cases in other circuit courts. In these cases, rules of evidence are applicable, and employees are required to provide admissible evidence on all contested issues. This is an essential process and must be prepared in advance. If an employee fails to present evidence, naturally they stand a risk of losing the case.
Before the start of a trial for a Florida injury, the employee should consult a professional workers compensation lawyer based in Florida. During the trial, a judge will review the evidence presented, rules on any objections, and then provide a ruling after the trial. Keep in mind that a judge cannot assist in preparing or presenting evidence and that typically is done by a worker’s compensation lawyer.
Hardship hearings and final hearings
Hardship hearings and final hearings are two types of evidentiary hearings. Hardship hearings are requested by employees when there is a dispute around medical treatments or disability benefit payments. During these hearings, judges issue temporary awards limited to the specific issue in question, for example, an unwillingness to pay for a certain course of treatment or therapy, and the case will remain in the docket of the judge. Once a final award is issued by the judge, the case will close unless a timely appeal is made. When all the medical treatments are determined or projected, and both parties have prepared all medical and expert evidence for the trial, a final hearing can be requested by either party.
Decisions of the court
After an evidentiary hearing, the decision of the judge is known as an award and is like a circuit court judgment. The judge will ask both parties if they agree on the issues in the trial and will be read into the record. The judge then asks both parties if they contest any issues, which will be addressed in the award made by the judge.
Evidence presented by employees includes witness testimonies, medical evidence, and testimonies made by doctors. The judge should only rule on objections from the evidence presented during the hearing. Once the ruling is made, an award will be issued. The award notice will be sent through the mail of the employee, insurance company, and attorneys in the case.
Why suffer in silence? Consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today and get your deserved benefits.
If you’re ready to consult your Palm Beach personal injury attorney, contact Sokoloff & Weinstein, P.A., Attorneys at Law, a firm of experienced personal injury lawyers in Royal Palm Beach and Vero Beach.