If you have been injured on the job or have become ill because of workplace conditions, you may be under the impression that receiving workers compensation benefits will be automatic. Unfortunately, this is not the case; you'll likely have to fight for your rights in court. Following are six interactive strategies designed to ensure that the court rules in your favor.
Never lie, exaggerate, or otherwise stretch the truth when discussing your injuries with anyone. Sticking to the facts will decrease the chances that you'll inadvertently make contradictory statements that can be used to undermine your credibility in court. Keep your statements short and sweet, and when in doubt, shut your mouth—particularly when discussing your injuries with coworkers.
Being less than truthful with your attorney is another way to make your case go south fast, particularly if your testimony in court changes dramatically from what you have told your lawyer previously.
Be sure to keep all of your appointments with your doctor so that you can provide evidence of ongoing treatment. Gaps in treatment generally aren't looked on kindly by the courts. Be certain to keep any and all documentation relating to your case no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time.
You should also be willing to rehearse possible answers to questions that you may be asked during cross-examination by attorneys for the defense so that you aren't taken by surprise in court.
Don't Talk Too Much
Besides being truthful in everything that you say about your case, you should also decline to discuss it as much as possible. You never know when something that you've said in a social context will be used against you in court.
For instance, if you're having a good day when the pain caused by your work-related injury is less intense than usual, mentioning that to a coworker could result in the statement being used against you in court. Keep in mind that what you say even in casual conversations can have unintended and uncomfortable repercussions.
Communicate With Your Doctor
Even though you should practice a substantial amount of discretion when discussing any aspect of your injury with others in your life, you should be certain to communicate any and all symptoms and limitations to your primary health care practitioner.
Failure to do so may mean that you won't have the necessary backup when it comes time to take your claim in front of a judge. After all, if you've got symptoms that you've failed to communicate to your doctor for any reason, those will not be present in your medical records, which will make you look bad in court.
Retain the Right Counsel
Because workers compensation law is complex and tends to evolve as individual state legislatures enact new statutes, you should look for an attorney who specializes in this field of law rather than a general practitioner. After all, you wouldn't hire a tractor mechanic to fix a race car, would you?
Hiring the right person for the job is is essential no matter what the issue is. A skilled, experienced workers compensation attorney will have the expertise to help you navigate through the complicate court system and achieve satisfactory results.
Trust Your Lawyer
One of the worst moves that you can make is to have a conversation with a representative of your employer's insurance company without your attorney while in the process of negotiating a workers compensation claim. An attorney from that company will probably call your home as well as send you correspondence through the mail and and will undoubtedly use a friendly helpful tone.
Keep in mind that these are tactics designed to make you lose your case. Direct any attempts to contact you to your attorney and trust that person to work in your best interests. Start looking for representation through resources such as http://ransomgilbertson.com/.