How Often A California Workers’ Compensation Case Goes To Trial And What To Expect

How Often A California Workers Compensation Case Goes To Trial And What To Expect

Going To Trial For A Workers’ Comp Claim Can Be Concerning

I’m joined with my co-host Attorney Jorge Ibuado to discuss the likelihood that a workers compensation case goes to trial. So a lot of people out there are concerned, if they’re injured at work, about hiring a lawyer because they’re scared or they’re concerned that they will have to go to trial and go see a judge and testify and do all that stuff in court. So this episode is to give our viewers some insight into how often these cases go to trial, and what a worker can expect when they hire an attorney to bring their case to the court for dispute resolution. But remember, the information that Jorge and I discuss is general in nature only. It’s meant to help you, it’s educational, but it’s not legal advice. If you need legal advice, dial the injury helpline, dial 844-984-8414 for a free and confidential case evaluation with either Jorge Ibuado or myself, we’d be happy to speak with you. So with that said, it’s a scary thought for a lot of workers. Jorge, what do you have to say? 

The COVID Pandemic Changed How Hearings Take Place In California

You know, this is a very broad topic. So we’re obviously not going to get into the nitty gritty of hearings, why you would file for certain hearings, why you would have to go to a hearing. But what I do want our viewers to understand, Alex, is that most likely they won’t go to hearing. I mean, there are hearings all the time, where you know, I’m usually in hearings, two, three times a week, at least, right. But COVID, once again, has changed the landscape of Workers Compensation, not only for clients, but for attorneys and the whole court system. Right now, Alex, we’re doing hearings over the phone. So whereas we used to go to court, right, and go in front of a judge, now we call in, and we get called by the judge, according to the order and the last name, and we have to represent our client during that hearing. Now, I will take a brief break. And the reason I was excited to do this episode is because lately, I’ve been in several hearings where, you know, there’s an order on how the judge takes the calls and handles them. But obviously a layperson, someone that’s not in court every day, someone that’s not an attorney, doesn’t understand the process. So you have these people that are unrepresented, calling in for their own court hearings, that maybe an adjuster set, or maybe the defense attorney set, even though there’s no applicant attorney, or they might have had an applicant attorney, and now, for some reason they don’t. So it’s very clear that they’re just not being effective with the judge. They’re not from my understanding. Well, I hear about it, yeah, they’re not being effective with the judge. They don’t know their rights. They don’t know how to respond to an attorney, because they’re, it’s them going up against another defense attorney for an insurance company. So already there, they’re all gone, right? It’s the classic bringing a knife to a gunfight or hey, bringing a water balloon to a gunfight. They’re not in the court three, four days a week talking to judges. The protocol is you understand what this judge is like, you understand what you know, kind of get what you need to have done, right? You understand your strategy when you go in, it’s rough for them. And not only that, but in this- and I am not disparaging anybody that’s trying to represent themselves- more power to you, if you feel you can do that. But I don’t advise it. They call in and they don’t know the process. So they keep on cutting the judge off when she’s trying to handle other cases. And more often than not, the judge gets pretty upset. So now when you’re up, I mean, the judge should be impartial. But at some point, they’re like, “Okay, it’s your turn. What do you want? You’ve been bugging me through every single person that’s been coming up, you know, you don’t know what you’re doing. What do you want? Why don’t you have someone representing you?” And Alex, I will say that sometimes the judges say, You know what, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, or whatever it is, I would advise you to seek out an attorney. And if you can’t, there’s an office that we have, that can maybe search out an attorney for you to represent you. Because it’s not advisable for someone to get into the system and try to handle everything on their own. Yeah, the judges they can get a little impatient with, but not really, because I mean, they have a huge calendar, right. So our workers compensation judges, in Pomona, that’s where I file most of my claims. They have to get through so many cases in that morning, there’s a lot of other workers who need help, and they’re not getting to those workers, because you the person doesn’t have a lawyer. So not only might workers be concerned or scared that they are going to go to court, you need to get a lawyer. And also if you’re a worker out there and you’re representing yourself, you also need to consider maybe I should get a lawyer so that I can get what I need done at the workers compensation court. Right. And that’s part of what this episode is about. That’s part of what we’re trying to get the workers in California to understand that if you’re concerned, get a lawyer. If you think you can do it on your own, maybe think twice and call the injury helpline 844-984-8414.

Being Represented By An Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney In California

Hey, listen, if you think you can do it on your own. Like I said, that’s your prerogative. But I would at least advise you to watch every single one of our videos to see if you can pick up some knowledge to prepare yourself for going to court. And then afterwards, if it’s too much for you, then please give us a call. And we’re happy to represent you. And one thing that I do hear from a lot of prospective clients and in clients as well, from the very beginning, even though it’s not looming over them, they’re scared about going to court, they’re scared about actually having to physically go to court, or having to go in front of a judge. And what I’m here to tell our viewers today, Alex, is that it does happen, obviously. But it takes a certain something and a certain reason for us to have to go to court. And a lot of times, and not every time. But a lot of times, if your case goes smoothly, and your attorney’s doing all the work for you, you don’t even have to be present yourself, your attorney will handle the court date for you. Okay, now, if you’re ever having to go to a trial, you will have to be present at trial, because you have to give your version of events how the injury happened, how you’re feeling, how you have to deal with your activities of daily living, so that the court can understand and obviously give you the help that you need. But if it’s not a court date, where trial is involved, if it’s as simple as what we call a status conference, then you don’t have to go to court, we will let you know what the issue is about. But we will also let you know, you don’t have to be present. If anything, we’ll call you and we’ll update you on what happened. But I don’t want you to be scared out there thinking I have to go to a bunch of court dates, I have to go to trial immediately right off the bat. This isn’t family court. This isn’t a civil court where you mandatorily have to be there, we can be there as your representatives as we should be. So that’s what we mostly want to tell our viewers today. Please give us a call. If this whole process is scary, you don’t want to be negative, but it should. It’s a lengthy, convoluted process with a lot of nuanced law that you might not understand, because it’s not your field of expertise. But we’ve been doing this for a long time. So we want to tell you, there might be a court involved, maybe possibly in the future, maybe not. Either way, we’ll take care of everything for you. And if you have any more questions, reach out to us on our hotline, Alex, what is that number? 844-984-8414? Perfect. Alex, what else? What are your thoughts about just people having this fear of going to court or just a basic question of, hey, when will I have to go to court once my workers compensation case begins?

When To Contact An Experienced California Workers Compensation Attorney

Right. Well, that’s a lot of what you said, Jorge, is that, you know, people who have concerns need to call an attorney so that they can determine what the process is. I mean, you probably have tons of questions out there. I mean, you mentioned status conferences, mandatory settlement conferences, a lot of people don’t know what those things are, we’re going to do videos on those and kind of discuss what we do with those hearings. But if you have a lawyer, you have a lawyer at those hearings, like you said, you’re not having to go yourself. So the only time you’d have to go to court is if your case went all the way to trial, which means there’s a dispute that your lawyer can’t work out, which basically means that you have a very contested case. And in order for you to determine if you’re going to need to do that you have to go through the process. But your lawyer is going to be able to help you through that process. It also gives you some insight into whether or not you’re going to need to go all the way, right. So I think like you said, at the end of the day, you gotta call a lawyer, you gotta get someone on your side, not only to go to those court hearings for you, but also to kind of give you a better idea if your specific case will require you to go to court one day. Yeah. And to piggy back off of that, and I think to just to finish off this segment, I do want to when you mentioned the hearings, it’s very important to distinguish that there’s different types of hearings, right. But I do want to say this, if you have received a notice in the mail for a mandatory settlement conference, for a priority conference for, you know, a trial, which although that’s at that point, I don’t think you should be unrepresented at all, but at least a mandatory settlement conference, you know, priority conference, please give us a call, you should definitely not attend either of those on your own. I can’t get into all the implications of what would happen after a mandatory settlement conference right now, we can talk about that in another episode. Or a priority conference, but they’re very special hearings, that certain things that need to take place of discovery might be cut off. So now your right to further doctor appointments and being able to bring that to court during a possible future trial is cut off- just different things that you really don’t want to deal with on your own. So please, mandatory settlement conference, priority conference, things like that, you got to notice in the mail, give us a call immediately and we’ll be able to help you out and give you the best advice possible after you know there are certain timeframes that have to be met to make objections, right. You have to do certain things and if you don’t do them, you could lose your legal rights, right. That’s why you need an attorney who understands those timeframes.

How An Experienced California Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Now also, if it’s already past those timeframes, I’ll go in there and I’ll find a way to get out. I’ll fight for you and that’s what we do. And you go and I actually took a case over from another lawyer recently who just failed to object. After the MSC the mandatory settlement conference, we lost the timeframes. I went in there and found a way to get discovery back open. And now we’re back open and my client’s gonna get back surgery. So you might have a bad back. The insurance company, you might be in “pro per,” which means you’re representing yourself and the insurance companies trying to push you through, or they’re trying to make you sign a stipulation and they’re going into the court. Look at all these legal documents. That’s when it’s time to call a lawyer. That’s why insurance companies hate Alex because he just finds ways to get you the most compensation, the best results, even if you’re in a position where you think you can’t do anything about something, Alex will find a way to get around that and give you the outcome that you need. deserve and definitely want. So thank you, Alex, I think I think that’s it for today. You know, once again, this is just broad. It’s not legal advice. This is broad information that we want to bring to you. Because the information that we gave you today could raise additional questions that you might have. So definitely reach out to us. But we’re always here to help. Like, you might have a question of like, where the courthouse is where or where’s my case going to be heard? I think that’s something that a lot of people have questions on. And they will do that in another episode. But Jorge, just quickly to close off the episode. If you’re out there, you’re concerned about court, you know, where do you go to court? What are these courts? Well, once again, with the COVID-19 pandemic, you possibly won’t be going to court trial. But the venue is chosen on several different grounds. Where the injury took place, where the employer is, where you might reside, or your attorney where he has his office, his or her office. So you know, it is different pieces of information and you get to choose where you file your claim and your attorney will choose the best place possible. Like you mentioned, Alex, I like Pomona myself, I think they’re really fair to employees. I like the judges, they’re stern, but fair, you know, we get good results as well. There’s, you know, a court in San Bernardino, Pomona. There’s one in Riverside, there’s obviously Santa Ana, Anaheim, and then going up moving up to LA but you know, where you are in court where you are venued, where you put your claim in depends on several factors that you want to speak to your attorney about, that you’re going to want a lawyer to decide where it’s going to be filed. But you also might want to be concerned when you’re talking to lawyers where they are going to file your claim, right? Like, for example, you might live in the Inland Empire and you might be calling a lawyer in Long Beach, there’s a particular lawyer I’m discussing I’m speaking about but I’m not going to name their name, they’re going to file it in Long Beach, then you’re going to have a problem with that lawyer. And then you’re going to want to hire the Inland Empire workers compensation lawyers, either Attorney Jorge Ibuado of Ibuado Law Group or myself at Napolin Accident Injury Lawyer. And then we’re going to say, well, where’s your case filed? And you’re gonna say, I don’t know. We’re gonna look it up. We’re gonna say, Well, you hired a lawyer in Long Beach. So if you’re in the Inland Empire, I think that it’s really wise that you hire a lawyer in the Inland Empire, so that you are going to a local court, if you ever have to go to trial, or if you want to change lawyers, at least you won’t have to change lawyers if you have us, but at least you would have a lawyer that’s going to file it. So ask the Workers Compensation lawyer that you’re thinking about hiring where they’re going to file your workers compensation case, right. Remember, it’s not legal advice. If you need legal advice, dial our injury helpline and either Jorge Ibuado or I will come to the phone and give you a free and confidential case evaluation. That number is 844-984-8414.

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