Worker’s compensation lawsuits can be complex and daunting, but you should not let that stop you from filing a suit if you deserve compensation. We can guide you through this process and will work with your best interests in mind at all times. Right now, we will discuss exactly how these suits work and give you a complete timeline so that you can see in advance what happens and when. That way, if you do need to file a suit, you’ll know what to expect.
First of all, you should know what falls under the umbrella of worker’s compensation. Essentially any workplace injury that is the liability of the employer counts. This might include cuts and lacerations, broken bones, burns, neurological damage, respiratory problems, and so on. The key ingredient is liability.
The first step in the legal process is a consultation with us. You will explain the details of your story and we will collect evidence such as medical records and witness testimony. Based on what we find, we decide on whether we think the case should proceed and then draw up a contract with you that describes the fees and our obligations to you.
Next, we file a complaint in court. This is an official document that describes the case, the legal jurisdiction of the court itself, the claims of wrongdoing or fault, the evidence for those claims, and what we believe the defendant should do to make things right. The defendant will then receive a summons to court, which they must respond to by continuing with the case, asking for dismissal, or filing a counterclaim.
Next is discovery. Discovery is the phase during which both sides present all of their evidence and explain where it came from. The evidence comes in the form of documentation like the aforementioned medical records or in depositions, which are written statements from people about the case.
After discovery, the legal teams have an opportunity to file pre-trial motions. In personal injury cases, these motions are generally shortcuts to avoid trial. For example, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case and try to prove that the court has no jurisdiction or the case has no merit. On the other hand, we can file a motion of our own that the case is overwhelmingly strong in our favor and that it should proceed directly to a summary judgement, skipping the trial process. Other motions include the motion for default judgement if the defendant does not show up to respond to the summons and the motion for suasponte if the case has legal errors that make it nonviable.
It is common for lawsuits of all kinds to reach settlements before going to trial. This is because trials are often expensive and potentially embarrassing, and a settlement can provide a simpler alternative. In personal injury and worker’s compensation suits, settlements occur when the defendant employer does not want to try to fight the case. We can help you determine a fair and just settlement and ensure that you will receive what you deserve if your case is settled.
Assuming that there is no settlement or successful motion to dismiss or proceed to summary judgement, your case goes to trial. The trial starts with opening cases on both sides, then witness testimony and cross-examination followed by closing arguments. Then the jury deliberates and must come to a decision. Trials need to end in a unanimous decision by the jury.
After the trial and the decision, the collection period begins. Depending on the case, this might be simple and easy or complicated. While not common, companies occasionally refuse to pay the judgement or try to avoid paying it. The company might also run into financial difficulties as a result of the lawsuit that make it hard for them to pay as instructed, so there is sometimes a need for extra-legal intervention to conclude this phase.
After the trial, it is always possible to appeal the case. Appeals focus on errors of law. If a party makes an appeal, then it will need to argue that there was a mistake in the legal process in the first case and that the case deserves to be reheard.
Should you decide that you want to file a suit for worker’s compensation, our experienced team of lawyers will support you and represent you. We have won cases against companies of all sizes and in all industries, so we know what it takes. Get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation.