The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been working to protect the rights of injured Missouri workers for over 20 years.
Mediation is usually ordered by the court. Mediation is an attempt to resolve the case without involvement from a judge. In mediation there should be an open exchange of information between the two sides and they should work towards achieving resolution. Mediation is often preferred to having a hearing or going to court because it is far more cost-effective, less stressful, and a great alternative to taking a case to court.
If you have been injured at work and are having trouble getting the workers’ compensation benefits that you feel you are entitled to, the first step should be contacting a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney. Workers’ comp cases are supposed to be straightforward and the system is intended to be self-executing, however, this is not always the way it plays out. Workers’ compensation laws are actually fairly complicated, and the fact that legislators are constantly amending the system only makes it more difficult to navigate. You should contact an attorney for an initial evaluation. Most attorneys offer free consultations.
If you decide to move forward on your own you will want to make sure that you keep meticulous records, take precautions when talking with the insurance company, and have a strong grasp of the rules and procedures that must be followed.
There are several different types of hearings that injured employees may participated in. The first type is a pretrial hearing. In pretrial hearings the attorneys for both sides meet with a judge and talk about the matters that will be included in the final hearing. There are forms that for the attorneys to fill out and submit to the judge. The judge will then set the time and date for the final hearing. Unless you choose to represent yourself, you will most likely not be required to attend the pretrial hearing.
With a final hearing the two sides present their sides before a judge, depose and cross-examine witnesses, and the judge makes the ultimate decision.
There are various legal forms you will need to fill out. The forms are fairly straightforward and serve the function of presenting the court with the information you want them to know and then asking them to take particular action. The forms should be fairly easy to understand and fill out. Typing the information that needs to be filled out is not a requirement but it does appear more professional to the court than if you hand write the information. If you cannot type your answers you should print very clearly and neatly.
The next step is to file the forms with the Division or possibly with a judge in your local workers’ comp district. You also must send a copy to the opposing side. You will need to inquire as to which forms can be mailed and which must be presented to the judge or Division in person.
Workers Compensation Attorney James M. Hoffmann
Contact St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney James M. Hoffmann for a free consultation if you would like to discuss the specifics of your workers’ comp claim.
To schedule a free consultation call us today at (314) 361-4300
photo credit: stockmonkeys.com