Expert Witnesses That Help Establish Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the burden of proving you're entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Idaho law. This is accomplished through the presentation of evidence.
While your testimony is important, you need many types of evidence to prove your case, such as witness testimony, medical reports, and pay stubs.
Expert witness testimony in your favor can be helpful when dealing with an issue in dispute. An expert's perspective could help convince an insurance adjuster to settle the claim for what you're entitled to, or be persuasive testimony if you must take the claim to trial.
Experts Who Might Be Helpful in Your Workers’ Compensation Case
An expert is a person with specialized knowledge in a specific field due to his or her education, training, and work experience. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will have a network of qualified experts who could make good witnesses in your case. The specific expert witnesses you need depend on the facts in your case and the disputes with the insurance company.
Some potential witnesses include:
- Medical expert. A medical expert is almost always needed in workers’ compensation cases to give an opinion on the worker’s injuries, recommended treatments, prognosis, and how the injury impacts on his or her ability to work. While your treating physician may be an expert witness in the case, your attorney may also want to retain another doctor as an impartial expert witness. If you suffer from more than one injury from your accident, you could need multiple physicians to testify as experts.
- Occupational expert. If there's a dispute as to whether you can return to your job or what other jobs, if any, you could perform due to your injuries, you may need to hire an occupational expert, such as a vocational rehabilitation specialist. This person can explain how your injuries limit your activities and employment; how many hours that you can work each day; and what work you can do with possible retraining, given your limitations.
- Accident reconstruction expert. While fault isn't an issue in a workers’ compensation cases, sometimes an employer can argue that another incident may have caused a worker’s injuries and not the workplace accident. If you're faced with this argument, you may need the help of an accident reconstruction expert. He may be able to inspect the scene and other evidence and create a reenactment of your accident that shows how your injuries were caused at work.
- Economic expert. An economic expert may be needed if your injury limits the jobs you can do, or if you're permanently disabled. He can help determine your future wage losses and lost earning capacity if you will take a reduction in pay or are unable to return to work.
If you suffered a workplace accident and need to file a workers’ compensation claim, don't delay in pursing your rights. Call my office to schedule a free consultation to discuss the benefits you may be entitled to and how I can help you prove this.