Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Has your attorney met with you in his office and prepare you for your testimony in front of the judge?
Are you prepared and comfortable to communicate to the judge how your work related injury is physically impairing you and affected your life?
There are several very important issues in this case that the Appellate Division decided in favor of a Worker’s Compensation petitioner you need to be aware of!!!
- The first and foremost is being prepared to present yourself honestly and credibly in the eyes of the Worker’s Compensation Judge. In this case the judge found the petitioner honest, straightforward, and did his best to answer all the questions in front of the judge at trial. The trial judge found the petitioner did not embellish or exaggerate his disabilities and in fact found him entirely believable because he continue to work regardless of is ongoing pain and discomfort in his lumbar spine. Clearly the petitioner was well prepared for his testimony and the judge heard exactly what he needed to hear.
- The next significant issue was the doctor’s testimony in support of the petitioner’s medical causation and treatment. The court found, after listening to signification medical testimony, that the doctor Was entirely credible also as well as direct, straightforward and answered the question presented to him as honesty as possible. The doctor connected all of the dots regarding the petitioners pre-existing condition, ongoing disability, relation to his work related injury, and need for treatment. The judge appreciated the doctor’s straightforward testimony extensive knowledge and honesty.
- On the other hand, the employer’s doctor was found to be not credible evasive not believable, and in fact at one point the trial judge found the employer’s doctor to merely be testifying to the minimum required by law and in support of a position he did not believe. This made his testimony entirely not believable and something the judge saw through. Actually, the trial judge had to admonish the employer’s doctor several times to answer the specific questions on cross examination relating to the very causation issues in the case.
- In order for the Appellate Division to overturn the trial judge’s decision the appellate court, upon reviewing the trial court record, must find that the trial judge’s decision was so far wide of the mark so as to be a manifest in justice unsupported and inconsistent with the competent and relevant evidence. In addition the trial judge is giving great difference in his determination of credibility and fact-finding because he is the judge hearing and listening to the people testify in front of him.
- In this case the petitioner’s attorney properly prepare the expert witness, the medical doctor, and the petitioner himself in order to elicited adequate and appropriate credible testimony regarding the ongoing disability of the petitioner for this occupational claim. As a result the Appellate Division did not overturn or interfere with the trial judge’s ultimate findings of fact and conclusions of law which required the employer to pay for medical benefits of a temporary disability benefits.
Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.