Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 11:15 am
This is a commonly asked question, and even if it’s not explicitly asked, it is certainly a perception that I think that some folks have. I think it’s important to make sure injured workers and their loved ones do not have this perception. And that is, if you show up at a hearing, you are thinking “I will have a decision the day of my hearing”, and second, “if the Judge rules in my favor, I get to walk out of that hearing with my check. That is all true, right?”
Unfortunately, the answer to that is a big “No.”
With a Jury trial and things like that, when you have personal injury cases, you have a jury, you’ve heard that thing on TV shows like Law and Order when you have the Judge banging that gavel after the jury comes back from deliberations. And the Judge will say, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, do you have a verdict?” And the bailiff will take the piece of paper from the jury foreman and read it out loud in the Courtroom: “We, the Jury find in favor of the Plaintiff, and fix his damages at Five Hundred Thousand Dollars.”
Well, it’s unfortunately not like that with workers comp. The Deputy Commissioner hears all the evidence at the hearing. You put in your evidence and the other side puts in their evidence. The Deputy Commissioner goes back to wherever they go to their office, and everyone goes home. And we they get to it, they will have an opinion.
It may be weeks from then, it may even be months after the hearing date. It will come down to an opinion and the decision really is not a monetary award. It’s a thumbs up or thumbs down: Either you have a compensable claim or you do not have a compensable claim. And that’s the decisiand thethe defense has a right to Appeal that decision, even if it’s in your favor.
And even when you do receive a decision, it will not be for an amount of lump sum money like in a Civil Jury Trial. The only time you may end up receiving a portion of lump sum money more than your weekly check is if you are owed a lot of back benefits. But all future benefits the Deputy Commission rules you are owed will be payable on an ongoing basis, one check at a time, one week at a time.
At Joe Miller Injury Law, we do everything we can to first win your case, and then help you get the compensation you deserve as soon as possible. Call (757) 455-8889 to get started on your case.