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When Do You Need Witnesses for a Workers' Compensation Claim?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

When Do You Need Witnesses for a Workers' Compensation Claim?You are the primary witness in your workers’ compensation case and the only necessary witness in many cases. In Illinois, you are not required to prove that anyone was negligent in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The arbitrator or court that is deciding your case needs to know that your injury occurred during the course of your work or as a consequence of your work duties. You may need other witnesses if your employer is casting doubt on the cause or extent of your injury. However, live testimony may be unnecessary even in these cases.

Expert Witnesses

Every workers’ compensation case should include records of all of your medical treatments and diagnosis of your physical condition. You can also call your physicians or a vocational expert as witnesses to testify during your case about:

  • The severity of your injuries;
  • Disabilities that resulted from your injuries; and
  • How your injury or disability will affect your ability to work.

Expert witnesses will often charge large fees in order to testify for a case. You should determine whether live testimony is necessary before you pay for an expert witness. Detailed reports from these experts may contain all of the information you need to establish your medical condition and future work limitations.

Co-Worker

Fellow employees can be useful witnesses if your employer disputes the circumstances that caused your injury. A co-worker may have seen the actual incident in which you were injured or could confirm the physical requirements of your work if repetitive trauma caused your injury. However, you may have difficulty getting co-workers to be your witness if they are testifying against their current employer. A co-worker is more likely to be cooperative as a witness if he or she no longer works for your employer.

Family Members

Your family can help your case by testifying about the extent of your injury. You may be unaware of how much your injuries have affected you or have difficulty explaining the extent of your injuries during the case. A family member has likely seen the full scope of your injury through every step of your recovery and how it has changed your functionality. However, your family member must stick to factual observations when testifying. Your employer will question your family member’s bias because he or she may benefit from you receiving workers’ compensation.

Contact a Crystal Lake Workers’ Compensation Attorney

It is useful to have witnesses available in case you need them during your workers’ compensation case. A McHenry County workers’ compensation lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can identify the most effective witnesses for your case. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838. 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=082003050K16

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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