So, You’re Going to Court
The idea of having to go to court over your workers’ compensation claim can be incredibly stressful. But don’t worry. Your attorney will do their best to prepare you and help you through the situation. There are many reasons you might require a hearing. For example, your claim may have been partially or entirely denied. In either instance, here are some tips for what to do when making an appearance in court.
- Listen to Your Lawyer
Just like your doctor or an accountant, your attorney has the professional experience to guide you, and following their advice will help you overcome legal matters successfully. They’ll have spent a lot of time getting to know you and studying your specific legal circumstances, so they’ll know all the strengths and weaknesses of your case. It is very important to listen to any instructions, advice, or guidance your lawyer givers you in preparation for your hearing.
- Be Calm and Keep Your Cool
Many times, the opposing attorney is going to try to get you riled up to make you look unreasonable on the witness stand. Don’t let them get to you! This is not like arguing with a friend or family member. In our workers’ compensation system, the Deputy Commissioner (Judge) at your hearing will be making the first decision on your case. So the judge will be watching and listening to any argument you might have. You do not want him or her to have a bad impression of you or to be distracted from the facts of your case by flared tempers. Therefore, it’s always best to keep your cool.
- Accept that You Can’t Control Everything
Unfortunately, a lot happens in the courtroom over which you’ll have zero control. For example, doctors often make or break a case based on their testimony. Your attorney will do their best to ask the right questions, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes the doctor won’t answer in your favor. This is true of all witnesses no matter which side calls on them to testify.
Because you never know how things will play out, it’s always best to listen to your attorney. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They handle workers’ comp cases everyday, so they know what to expect and the best course of action to take.
If you’ve been injured at work, don’t wait to contact an experienced attorney. Having someone at your side to help navigate you through the entire process makes all the difference. We’ll prepare you for your hearing and through every step of your case.
Case Spotlight: Fall in the Parking Lot
If you have a non-traditional workers’ compensation case, you might be concerned that we won’t represent you. The reality of the situation is that we deal with non-traditional cases all the time.
I’m currently helping a client who works for a staffing agency. She took a position at a large corporation. While on her way into work one morning, she tripped and fell in the parking lot. As a result, she sustained significant damage to her knee and eye.
Despite her injuries, her workers’ compensation claim has been denied. Even though she was on the property of her place of work, they turned her down because the parking lot where she fell was not owned by the staffing agency, but by the company where she had been working. Her employer was the staffing agency, not the company.
Despite this, we are working with her in order to get her fair compensation. It doesn’t matter if you think your case is complicated or unusual. At Oxner + Permar, we’re passionate about defending our clients.
If you’ve been injured at work and are unsure if we’ll cover your case, give us a call! At Oxner + Permar we offer a free consultation.
Case Spotlight: Hurt While Traveling for Work
I’ve spoken with clients who said they were nervous about contacting an attorney because they didn’t know if their case fit into the kinds of cases we typically take on. The truth is, we represent all kinds of workman’s comp cases. In order to give you an idea of what kinds of cases we handle, I thought I’d share one that we’re working on now.
I have a client who was traveling for work out of state — he travels for the company whenever there is a need for temporary drivers. The trip required an overnight stay, so his company put him up in a less than clean hotel room. While unpacking his suitcase, he stubbed his toe on the bed frame.
Stubbing your toe is never fun, but things went from bad to worse when my client’s toe injury developed an infection. As a result his big toe ultimately required amputation. Naturally, my client filed for workers’ compensation; however, his claim was denied.
Now we’re currently working with him and waiting on a hearing. However, unfortunately for our client, in the time that we’ve been waiting, he developed an infection at the amputation site and has now lost his leg from the knee down. Our client deserves compensation for the medical treatment and medication that he’s received. We’re fighting to ensure that his rights are protected.
If you’re concerned about whether or not we will take on your case, don’t worry! At Oxner + Permar we offer free consultations so that you know up front how we can help.
Getting Social Security Benefits for Mental Disabilities
Struggling with a mental illness is a serious issue. If you’re someone living with a mental illness such as depression, OCD, anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder, then you know it can be a huge strain on your job as well as your personal life. Mental illnesses are often just as serious as physical ones. Fortunately, if you suffer from a debilitating mental illness that makes it difficult to perform your job, you can apply for social security benefits.
However, many people run into a significant challenge: It can be much more difficult to prove to a court the effects of a mental illness as opposed to a physical one. Today I want to share a few tips to keep in mind when applying for social security:
- Show a History of Treatment
Proving to the court that you have a history of coping with your mental illness is a good way to demonstrate not only the effects of the illness, but also your desire to get better. This will help your case tremendously.
- Receive a Diagnosis from a Psychiatrist or Psychologist
With any disability, the court wants to see that you’ve have sought an expert opinion. A psychiatrist or psychologist will have the training and expertise to give the court a solid basis on which to form their decision.
- See a Doctor Before You File for Disability
In order to be approved, not only will you need a diagnosis, but it will need to be a recent one. Remember that in the State of North Carolina, you’ll need to have seen a doctor within in the 90 days before you file.
- Take All of Your Prescribed Medicines
Not only does taking your medicine show your interest in improving your condition, it also allows the court to accurately assess your mental health. They want to be able to evaluate your mental state while receiving treatment.
- Provide School Records If Filing for Long Term Disability
If possible, it’s recommended that you submit your school records while filing for long term disability. This will allow the court to get a more complete view of your mental history. For instance, they’ll be able to assess previous testing you took, as well as show difficulties you may have struggled with in the past.
As with any case, the best thing you can do is to follow the advice of your attorney. They will be able to instruct you on what you need to submit and what you need to do before filing. At Oxner + Permar, we provide free, 30-minute consultations, so If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.
Did you know that social security benefits cover mental illness? If you have any questions about how to apply for these benefits, be sure to contact an experienced attorney.
Can I Use Social Media During My Workers’ Comp Case?
In this day and age, we share everything online. Social media makes it so easy to connect with friends and family. Whether it’s birthday wishes or photos with friends, there are all sorts of ways to share our thoughts and feelings and keep in touch. For the most part, sharing things on social media is pretty harmless. However, this is not always the case when you’re in the middle of a workers’ compensation case.
What you might not consider is the fact that defense lawyers and insurance carriers may try to look you up on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media accounts you might have. They will look for evidence that you’re not really as injured as you claim to be. This evidence could be something as simple as a photograph of you out with your friends, especially if you’re doing something physical like dancing or swimming.
The best policy is to simply deactivate your Facebook (or other social media) account until after your trial. At the very least you should set your social media settings to private. Don’t post pictures of things that could be incriminating. For instance, if you post vacation pictures of yourself lying out on a beach when you’re supposed to be recovering, the defense will most likely call this into question.
It can be hard to break the social media habit, but I promise things will be better if you take the plunge and deactivate your social media accounts until after your case has ended. Definitely better safe than sorry!
Don’t let something as simple as social media get you in trouble! If you’ve been injured at work, let an experienced attorney guide you through your case.