Since workers’ compensation cases do not go to a jury trial, some people may have the false impression that workers’ comp court hearings are simple matters to navigate without legal representation. However, we do not advise you to attend a court hearing without a lawyer. There is an old adage in criminal trials that describes a person who represents herself before a judge, “has a fool for a client.” We believe the same wisdom applies within the workers’ compensation arena. Attempting to navigate the court system alone in a workers’ comp case is simply not a good idea.
Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation system incorporates a labyrinth of over 160 rules, the Civil Practice Act, the Rules of Evidence, and many judge specific mandates that make practice of workers’ compensation law very complex. Many things happen during a workers’ compensation hearing and case; it is important to know exactly how to react and move forward. Additionally, the workers’ compensation claim requires counseling on medical providers, legal strategy, and other factors that will impact the overall quality of an injured workers’ recovery.
In short, you have one shot at getting the best outcome you can for your case. Having experienced representation is the best way to ensure you secure the maximum benefits and the recovery time you need. Workers who go it alone may think the company insurance agent has their best interest at heart. But in reality – he doesn’t. It’s best to seek counsel in the courtroom and to navigate the ever-changing Georgia workers’ comp system as a whole.