Unfortunately, your employer could do the unimaginable and deny your legitimate claim for workers’ compensation benefits after you are injured on the job. If this happens to you, you must prove your right to receive benefits. How do you do this? You gather the evidence you need to prove your case and your right to the compensation you are requesting. Evidence consists simply of documents, photographs, witness testimony, and other information that you use as building blocks to prove your case.
What Documents Could Help You Win Your Workers’ Comp Case?
Your workers’ compensation claim is different from a personal injury case because you do not need to prove your employer’s fault or negligence to be entitled to benefits. You basically need to show that you were hurt while doing the duties of your job or that you developed an occupational disease because of your work. Many documents are vital to proving your claim, including these:
- Medical records. Your medical records play a crucial role in proving your injuries caused by your workplace accident. Strong medical records can establish the causal link between your accident and your injuries, the seriousness of your injuries, your treatments, and your final prognosis.
- Medical bills. Your medical bills are proof of the expenses you have incurred so far and are part of the compensation that you are entitled to when injured at work.
- Accident report. Hopefully, you made an accident report after your accident. You will want a copy of it to prove that you reported your accident soon after it happened.
- Employment records. Employment records help show that you worked for your employer. Pay stubs can prove employment and show the amount of your wages—useful in determining the value of the lost wages portion of your claim.
Witnesses and Expert Witnesses You Could Need to Prove Your Right to Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you are unable to settle your claim, you will need witnesses and expert witnesses to testify at your trial. An expert’s report and witness statements can also be persuasive evidence that you can use to convince the workers’ comp insurance adjuster to settle your claim. Here are some of the witnesses that could be helpful in your case:
- Medical experts. Like medical records, medical experts play a vital role in proving the extent of your injuries, the treatments you need, and your prognosis. Your treating physician, an independent doctor hired by your attorney, and a physical therapist are a few of the medical experts you may need to retain.
- Mental health professionals. A social worker, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional could help you prove that you suffer from depression or another psychological problem that requires treatment as a result of your accident or your injuries.
- Occupational experts. If you can no longer perform the duties of your former job, you may need a vocational rehabilitation expert or other occupational expert to explain how your injuries limit your ability to perform certain jobs and what, if any, jobs you could work at in the future—sometimes with retraining.
- Economic expert. An economic expert can help value your future lost wages if you are permanently disabled or must start a new career where your wages and benefits are lower.
- Co-workers and other witnesses. Co-workers and others who witnessed your accident can help prove your accident occurred and that it caused your injuries—when the insurance company disputes either of these important elements of your claim.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, Christopher Hudson can investigate your accident and determine what evidence you need—including expert witnesses—to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. He can also take over the burden of negotiating a fair settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance company for you. Order our free book, Understanding Georgia Workers’ Compensation, and then contact us online, start a chat or call us directly at 888-795-6261 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.