Do you want to reopen your workers compensation case? Did your attorney preserve your right to reopen your case in the future?
Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
In this case the worker/petitioner wanted to reopen his old workers compensation case and seek additional psychiatric disability for depression and other related issues. He argued his recent depression and divorce were causally related to his prior work injury and related psychiatric award as a result of a significant foot injury he suffered.
After the petitioner testifies and had his psychiatric expert testify respondent had their own expert testify contradicting the petitioners expert. The court ruled the petitioner did not meet his burden of proof my competent credible medical evidence that his current and increase psychiatric disability, the divorce and depression was related to the work injury for years ago.
The appellate panel here ruled that the trial judge, the workers compensation court judge, as an expert in this field, did not err in its decision and did not abuse its discretion in ruling as it did. The compensation judge is given great discretion and so long as the judge’s ruling is based in evidence in the record that decision will not be reversed or disturbed. Here the judge bases her decision in the credibility of the witnesses, and specifically the petitioner. One of the biggest problems was the petitioner’s attempt to argue his divorce and related depression should be considered related to the work injury of 17 years prior!! The judge did it find this believable and persuasive. As a result the judge found the petitioner’s expert lacked the same credibility and this was fatal the the balance of the issues of believable and credibility.
Please call Hark & Hark if you have any questions or issues like this. We can help you at the trial level and not after you loose and try to appeal.
Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.