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In Oklahoma workers’ comp disputes, insurers always have a lawyer

The process begins painfully when a Tulsa employee sustains an on-the-job injury. After you have received medical care and notified your employer of the injury, you can learn that your employer or their insurer has decided to contest the workers’ compensation benefits that are to replace a portion of your wages and cover your health care costs while you heal.

It is then that many Oklahoma workers will ask the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims to resolve the dispute between you and your employer or between you and your employer’s insurer.

The state says at this point you or your workers’ compensation attorney must at this point file a Motion to Set For Trial.

As noted on the state’s website, “(a) trial before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims is much like any other non-jury trial in an Oklahoma court.” That means the case is heard by a judge who will determine the benefits you are to receive, if any.

The judge bases the determination on Oklahoma law, medical evidence and testimony at the trial.

Trials are held here in Tulsa or in Oklahoma City.

The state also notes that you are not required to have an attorney at the trial. You may represent yourself. Guess who is required by law to have a lawyer? Your employer’s insurer.

That’s right. If you go into Workers’ Compensation Court alone, you must face not only the judge, but the insurance company’s lawyer by yourself. It is a daunting prospect for many injured people depending on workers’ comp benefits approval.

Fortunately, you do have the right to legal representation; someone who knows the law, the Workers’ Comp court system and its procedures.

 

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