Depending on the state in which you live, the decision of an arbitrator in a workers' compensation case could be your last chance for getting a claim paid. Because of this, it is important that you properly prepare for the hearing. If you are headed to arbitration with your employer's insurance company, here are some tips for preparing.
Know the Details of Your Claim
Although this might seem obvious, it is easy to become confused or forget details of your claim once you are before the arbitrator. Remembering is made even more difficult by the fact that the insurance company's attorney will be there attempting to dispute what you say.
The arbitrator is less likely to side with you if you appear to lack credibility. Inconsistencies in your story can take away from how believable you are. Take some time before the hearing and review the statements you have made about your accident and injuries in the past so that you are clear on what happened.
Obtain Copies of Your Medical Records
Ideally, the arbitrator will receive a copy of your medical records from either your medical care providers or the insurance company. However, this does not always happen. If the medical records are not immediately available, the arbitrator might be forced to assess your case on what evidence he or she has.
To avoid a delay in the decision and make it easier for the arbitrator to understand the extent of your injuries, you need to obtain a copy of your records for the hearing. Keep a copy of the records for your own personal records.
Know Exactly How Much Your Claim Is Worth
Workers' compensation covers your medical bills and time off from work. You are entitled to receive a percentage of the wages you would typically earn during a work period. The amount varies from state to state.
Before arbitration, you need to work with your attorney to find out exactly how much you are owed in lost wages and medical expenses. Do not forget to include the cost of any healthcare-related expenses, such as gas for traveling to and from the doctor and prescription medications. If you have the receipts for all of your expenses, make copies of them for the arbitrator.
Your workers' comp attorney can help you find other ways to prepare for your hearing with the arbitrator. Preparation can make the difference between winning and losing your case.
For a workers' comp lawyer, contact a law firm such as Law Office of Steven P. Rapp.