Michigan lawyer discuses what questions are asked at workers’ comp hearing and how to prepare witness testimony.
One of the most common questions we get from our clients is “what questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing?” Our law firm has over 100 years of combined experience handling workers’ comp cases in Michigan. We have seen everything from witnesses who lie to insurance companies going bankrupt halfway through trial. Winning at trial is going to depend upon witness credibility, medical evidence and properly preparing for questions that will be asked.
Most disputed workers’ comp cases are settled because the risk of losing everything at trial is a real possibility. Sometimes a disputed case cannot be settled, and trial becomes the only option. This usually happens when both sides are too far apart when it comes to money.
We know how difficult a trial can be for our clients. Thinking about testimony ahead of time will alleviate stress and potentially expose weakness in the case.
To help you get a better understanding of “what questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing” we have provided a list the of the 6 different types of questions asked:
6 Types of Questions Asked At A Workers’ Comp Hearing
- General background questions
- Education and training questions
- Employment history questions
- Job with defendant and questions about the incident
- Medical questions
- Ability to work questions
We provide more context surrounding these types of questions below but remember to make sure to hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer if your case proceeds to trial.
General background questions
General background questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing such as their full legal name, current address, social security number, date of birth, marital status, living arrangements, tax filing status, and number of children with ages.
Questions about spouse and children are important because it establishes dependency. The weekly comp rate will be impacted by these answers.
Education and training questions
Educational background and job training questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing. This includes whether you completed high school, trade school, military service, college, or graduate school. Do you have any licenses or certifications?
It does not matter if education and training questions are relevant to the job where you got hurt. A labor market survey with transferable skills analysis will submitted at trial by the defense. Watch out for cross examination that picks holes in job search efforts based upon education and training.
Employment history questions
Getting hurt on-the-job is not enough to prove entitlement to lost wages. A plaintiff must show a wage loss connected to the workplace accident. Therefore, past employment questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing.
Be prepared to testify about past jobs including amounts paid. Think about your highest paying job and go back from there. Be precise when testifying about wages paid and hours worked.
Job with defendant and questions about the incident
Questions about your job with the defendant are some of the most significant. You will need to testify about date of hire, preexisting medical conditions, whether there was a preemployment physical, give a physical description of the job, hours worked, and wages paid.
Testimony about the date of injury, how it occurred, body parts impacted, who you reported it to, initial medical treatment, restrictions, and return to work efforts are crucial. Credibility is everything so make sure testimony is accurate.
When you file a workers’ comp case, medical history becomes an open book. This means preexisting medical conditions, doctors seen and medical questions are asked at a workers’ comp hearing. These questions can go back to early childhood.
Be prepared to give the names of all doctors you have seen for the workplace injury. What kind of medical treatment have you undergone? What are your current limitations and restrictions? Do you need attendant care services to help with activities of daily living?
Ability to work questions
A job search is a critical component to trial. Make sure you can testify as to all the jobs you have applied. Did you keep a job search log? Will any employer hire you with restrictions?
You will also be asked about current activities and hobbies. It is common for insurance companies to use private investigators to follow people. Getting caught lying will certainly result in your case being denied.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.