What is the process involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim?

In order to initiate a claim, your attorney will electronically file a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.  If a hearing is requested, which will be done if we feel that the employer and its insurer are not providing you with all of the benefits to which you are entitled, then the insurer will assign the file to an attorney to defend the claim within a few weeks of us filing the hearing request.  The parties will then go through a discovery process in which each side will serve typewritten questions called interrogatories as well as requests for documents upon the opposing party.  The defense attorney will also likely want to schedule your deposition, in which you will provide oral testimony about your claim.  The deposition will typically take place at your attorney’s office, and there will be a court reporter present who will take down your testimony.  If there is a dispute regarding medical treatment, the insurer may schedule you for an independent medical examination (IME) to get another opinion.  Under certain circumstances, we also may send you for an IME to get an opinion to bolster your case.  Ultimately, your case will proceed towards a hearing before an administrative law judge.  However, most cases reach settlement prior to you ever having to appear in court.