People will often ask us if their workers’ compensation case will have to go to court. That’s a question that will have to be answered on a case by case basis. Often times we are able to accumulate the evidence necessary to convince the employer or insurance company to voluntarily pay the workers’ comp benefits that are due. But unfortunately one of the terrible truths about W/C is that the insurance company doesn’t have to pay anything unless a Judge tells them they have to. If you cannot convince the insurance company to pay, your only alternative is to file your case in the Workers’ Compensation Court and let the judge make a decision.
Workers’ Compensation Court resolves disputes
In Nebraska the workers’ compensation court is separate from all other courts. There are 7 judges whose only responsibility is making decision on disputes over Workers’ Compensation cases. These judges have their offices in Lincoln and Omaha but they will hold their hearings in whichever county in which the accident occurred. At these hearings each side can present evidence in the way of testimony, medical records and medical bills. The judges can then award or refuse to award benefits. If either side is dissatisfied with the Judge’s decision they can appeal the decision to a higher court.
Litigation can take several months
The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court moves faster than many courts but it won’t happen overnight. How quickly the case will move will depend in part on the where your injury took place and the judge that gets assigned, However, if your case has to go all the way to a hearing it will take several months.