I often received calls from claimants stating Workers Compensation told me “X”.
My response is: “Since when have you heard of a Judge calling a party in a case directly”?
Part of the confusion is workers compensation is a whole different system than the court system. It is what is called an administrative law creation.
Many people have the basic understanding of court system titles so I will use those as a way of explaining who the respective parties are in a workers’ compensation case.
Here we go:
A legal case has two parties most often: plaintiff and defendant. Most often you will see this representation by the following:
JOHN SMITH (Plaintiff)
COMPANY ABC (Defendant)
A claimant is the person who was injured – they are considered the plaintiff in a claim.
A claim is the premise of the claimant?s case.
Request for Benefits is like the complaint which initiates the case. It is the underlying entitlements the claimant is requesting.
A Defendant on all paperwork sent by the Commission is the formal name of the company the injured party worked for. Most often the defendant?s name is correct because the required paperwork by the company was filed when the injury occurred.
Workers Compensation Commission is like the judicial body (the court) processing the claim through the claimant?s case. The Commission will send out general notices and is required to send all notices to all parties, thus, claimant?s will receive documents regarding notifications or requirements the defendant must do and vice-versa.
Deputy Commissioner is the Judge of the administrative process that the workers’ compensation claim is processed through. Important to note: it is rare, if ever done, for a deputy commissioner to call a party, if the Commissioner did so, the other party would have to have given permission or be on the line. This is a good way for you to know who you are talking to.
THIS IS THE BIG ONE FOLKS:
The Insurance company for your employer is really the defendant for all intent and purposes for the claim. The insurance company 99.99% of the time is the one calling the claimant asking for this that and the other, including but not limited to, recorded statements. BE WARY of talking to an adversary party – an opponent: they are the defendants against you and are not looking out for the injured worker, but for their company.
It is my hope that the outlining of the terms and who the respective parties involved has helped clear up misunderstanding or confusion with respect to the lexicon utilized for Workers Compensation Commission claims. Please reach out should you need assistance with your claim, it can be a very confusing process.
Here at Lugar Injury Law, we strive to make sure each and every client gets the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. From filing your initial injury report and gathering medical evidence to proving the severity and cause of your injury to workers’ compensation insurance adjusters, we do everything in our power to ensure that you are treated fairly.
Schedule a free consultation with Lugar Injury Law now. Call us at (540) 384-0348 or fill out our contact form to get started.