What Should I Wear to my Court Hearing For Workers Compensation?

Sep 6, 2020 | WC & Other Laws

Not every Colorado work injury ends up at a court hearing, but when they do, it’s natural to wonder what to wear.

Clearly a level of professionalism is required but how professional should you dress?

What Should I Wear to my Court Hearing For Workers Compensation? – Your Sunday best might not be the right answer, but your favorite pair of blue-jeans isn’t fitting either, so what’s the right choice? After reading this – you should feel more confident in knowing how to dress for your hearing.

Dress like you’re going to work

To start off, the chances of you going to an actual hearing, if you’ve got a workers’ comp case with an attorney, are about 10% to 20% of the time. In most workers’ comp claim hearings, the parties resolve their differences at some point or another, and we avoid a hearing.

But if you’re one of the 10% to 20% that are going to hearing, we’re often asked, “How do I dress?” and our answer is typically this, “Because it’s a workers’ compensation hearing and we’re talking about your work injury and your employment, I recommend you come dressed as if you were going to work. If you have a uniform, if you have a mechanic’s outfit with your name tag on it, I recommend that you show up to your worker’s compensation hearing like that.” You do not have to show up in professional suit and tie, et cetera unless that’s how you go to work.


Workers’ compensation hearings may sometimes be informal

Workers’ comp hearings are a little different than district court hearings or especially federal district court hearings. They tend to be more informal, but still, if your hearing is down in Denver, Glenwood Springs, or in certain parts of the state, it will be in a courtroom. Administrative law hearings in workers’ compensations are similar to court hearings except for a few things. Number one, there’s no jury. Number two, there’s a judge, and depending on the circumstances, sometimes the judge wears the robe and sometimes not. But most of the time, particularly if it looks like a courtroom, the judge is going to put on a robe.

To summarize there will be parties seated at a table, there’s a podium, there’s a flag, there’s a seal, there’s often a witness box, and at the center, there’s a judge. Despite your hearing being a little less formal than other kinds of hearings, it is still a courtroom hearing, and the need to dress properly still applies.

If you need to show your injury, make sure your clothing is easy to remove

The other thing that may affect how you dress for a hearing is if disfigurement is an issue. One of the benefits of workers’ compensation is you get compensation for scars or atrophy. You may need to show the judge that scar or atrophy, and that’s going to require you to take off clothing to be able to show a body part that has the disfigurement from a work injury. That’s to say that dressing up in a suit or something that’s difficult to put on and off may not be the best choice. As mentioned before, dress in clothes you’d normally wear to work but adapt as needed to accommodate for showing scars.

But what about video hearings, do I need to dress up?

To answer that question simply, yes, at least from the waist up. Many people get confused about how to dress for their video workman’s comp hearing. Despite not being in person at the actual courtroom, still, dress how you normally would for your court hearing.

What Should I Wear to my Court Hearing For Workers Compensation? – We’ve got a lot more helpful advice

If you found this blog to be useful and want more legal help, consider Kaplan Morrell, award-winning Workers Compensation attorneys with offices in Denver and Greeley, CO, at https://kaplanmorrell.com

And you don’t need to worry, we offer free, no-obligation, consultations. We’ve been helping injured workers in Colorado since 1995, it’s what we do. Give us a call at 970-356-9898.

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