Are you an injured worker with more than medical bills, hospital appointments, and possible physical therapy to think about? Then here’s a simple truth, you are not alone. Not all workers’ compensation claims are approved by corporate insurance coverage. This realization can make anyone feel dejected, defeated, and stressed.
However, with the right team of Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers, you can still get the compensation coverage you deserve. If you have already asked for a formal hearing in court, or at least considering the option, then here are a few tips to ensure you go well-prepared.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It’s very important to hire a lawyer first, at least a few days to a week before the hearing. Even when you think the case is a mere medical-only dispute, it could still end up being a very short and unrewarding process without one. The reason is simple, workers’ compensation cases are a mix of legal and medical matters. Even if this hearing is taking place in court, your medical records will still need to be reviewed to ensure the evidence is admissible.
Thanks to the recent reforms on workers’ compensation laws, the process is a little more complex to ensure only viable claims are approved. That means you’ll need a good team of experts on your side to help build a good case and give a winning argument.
Workers’ compensation lawyers are well versed in such cases, and could even help you negotiate with the insurance company. It also helps that employers in Pennsylvania are mandated to purchase worker’s compensation insurance. Still, you won’t just get handed a cheque simply because you deserve it. A good attorney will help you build your case or possibly help you avoid going to court altogether.
Provide Medical Evidence
There is no way anyone can win an appeal or workers’ compensation case without presenting necessary evidence. One of the documents that should serve as concrete proof during a hearing is your medical reports. The judge has to follow strict rules when evaluating any compensation claims.
The fact that a worker simply states that they are feeling pain or experiencing any discomfort will unfortunately not sail in court. There must be medical records like X-rays, EMG’s, or MRI’s as well as prescriptions from a certified doctor. Still, understand that the insurance company has the right to question any of the doctors’ comments, opinions, and recommendations.
When this happens, the insurance company may ask you to see an independent medical examination doctor in Philadelphia. The doctor will review the medical records and schedule you for another examination. The summary of these reports and findings could make or break your case.
Calculate the Costs
When you file a workers’ compensation appeal, that gives you access to payment or repayment of any money or benefits lost because of your injury. However, that may not happen if you do not properly calculate all necessary costs and get all the facts right. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your lawyer before the hearing and arrange all the costs accordingly.
Put all the unpaid medical bills together, calculate how much you have spent already, and how much you will need to pay everything off. It’s equally crucial to take note of any lost wages, bonuses, or benefits that were lost during and after the incident. The final step would be to calculate how much the company owes you permanent disability benefits where applicable (this is not important if you do not have any permanent disabilities.)
The judge will require all this information before awarding any benefits to you. However, in Philadelphia, you will have to prove that the injuries you have either prevent or reduce your ability to work.
Arrange the Evidence and Present Witnesses
Some people may deem this the easiest part, especially if close friends or colleagues witnessed the accident. However, it can also turn out to be the most challenging if the witnesses are not willing to testify. So, it’s best not to assume, ensure you ask all potential witnesses if they will be willing, and let them know the time, date, and location. The workers’ compensation legal team may equally ask to meet with all witnesses to help prep their testimonies and assist with any inconsistencies.
Let Us Assist You With Your claim
It can be hard facing the seemingly daunting hands of a workers’ compensation hearing alone. At this point, you need all the help you can get. Let our board-certified team of Philadelphia injury lawyers assist you with this workers’ compensation case. If you or your loved ones are going through this time alone, we ask that you let our qualified team of experts come in and help you get the best possible outcome for this case.
We promise to learn all about your case, get all the details, and craft the best strategy for a winning outcome. Feel free to contact us today or fill out this online contact form today.