If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or if there are any disputes involving your workers’ compensation claim, your lawyer may file a Petition with the Workers’ Compensation Court. This Petition is a lawsuit against your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, seeking benefits to which you are entitled but are not properly being paid.
Once a Petition has been filed, the case will be assigned to one of the seven workers’ compensation judges in Nebraska. Then, the case will eventually be given a trial date; this date is usually less than a year after the petition is filed (nine months is a good estimate).
The trial will then be held in the county where the accident occurred. If the accident occurred out of state, then the trial will be held in Lincoln. However, the parties may agree to have the trial anywhere within the state if another location is more convenient for those involved. In situations where it may be difficult for a witness or party to attend trial in person, the parties may agree to conduct the trial via videoconference with the judge.
When it comes time for trial, the judge assigned to the case will hear all of the evidence (including the testimony from all witnesses). The trial usually takes about a half day or sometimes a whole day, depending on the number of witnesses. Rarely do workers’ compensation trials go beyond one day. After the trial has concluded, the judge will issue a decision in approximately one to six months. At times, however, issuing the decision can take even longer than six months on more complicated cases. The decision will be either an Order of Dismissal of the case or an Award of Benefits for the case. In either instance, any issues that were presented at trial will have been addressed by the Court in the decision, which is a final order. Although the decision is final, either party may choose to appeal the decision to the Nebraska Court of Appeals and/or eventually to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Today’s blog post is a part of a continuing series that explores the basics of workers’ compensation. Please read the previous blog posts in the series by clicking on these links, and be sure to consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer with questions:
- What is Workers’ Compensation?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Are You an Employee?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: What is a Workers’ Compensation Accident?
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Provide Notice of Injury
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding Medical Care and Treatment
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Choosing a Physician
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding the Injured Worker’s Right to Medical Care
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Understanding Social Security Disability Offsets
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Payments to Workers and their Families
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: Emotional, Psychological Injuries in Nebraska
- Workers’ Compensation Basics: What is Vocational Rehabilitation?