If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, you will likely have to testify at some point. This can be very stressful, especially if you have never had to testify in a legal matter before. Having an idea of what to expect can help reduce anxiety and help prepare you for what is to come.
The good news is that unlike many other areas of the law, workers’ compensation law is less formal. There is no jury and no intimidating courtroom to deal with.
What To Expect
You will testify before the judge in a hearing office which is typically small and less overwhelming. You may also be required to have a deposition in which you will provide your testimony. This will usually take place in your lawyer’s office. In some cases, this process may have changed to a virtual hearing.
In whichever manner you are required to testify, you will be live in front of the judge. Your attorney will ask questions about your job, the specifics of your injury, your symptoms, whether or not you are able to work, and what medical treatments you have received. Following these questions, you will then be cross-examined by the lawyer of the insurance company. You may have some questions from the judge as well.
In order to keep your testimony as clear and precise as possible, it is good to know what sort of questions to expect.
Here are some examples of what you may be asked:
- Who is your employer?
- What is your hire date?
- What is your job title or position?
- What are your job responsibilities?
- What are the physical requirements of your job?
- What are the heaviest items you have to lift?
- Is your job performed standing or sitting?
- What was the date of your injury?
- What are the circumstances of how you were injured?
- What part of your body sustained the injury?
- Are there any witnesses to what happened?
- Did you report the incident to your supervisor?
- When did you report it?
- Did you make your report in person, by phone, by text, or by email?
- When did you first seek medical attention?
- Where did you go?
- Did your employer send you, or did you go on your own?
- Were there any restrictions placed on you by your doctor?
- Did you return to work?
- If you returned to work, was it back to your regular job or a modified position?
- Did you work the same hours or different ones?
- Were you paid the same wage or different?
- What doctors have treated you, and what type of treatment did they provide?
- Have you done physical therapy?
- Do you believe you have recovered from your injury?
- How do you feel physically?
- Are you in pain?
- How often does it affect your ability to function?
- If you have not returned to work, do you think you could return to your regular job?
These are just some examples of what you may be asked. Depending on your circumstance, you may encounter other lines of questioning on both sides. Once all your evidence is presented in your case, the judge will decide based on whether or not they believe your testimony is credible.
Therefore, it is crucial to your case to consult with an attorney prior to testifying to ensure that you are prepared for anything that comes your way.