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What Happens At A Workers’ Compensation Hearing?

Posted in Workers Compensation on September 24, 2022

If you have sustained an on-the-job injury, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. Just about every employer in Arizona is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. There are times, though, when a worker will need to go to a workers’ compensation hearing pertaining to their case. This process can seem overwhelming, but there is some basic information that may help this same class.

How Long Will the Hearing Last?

The circumstances surrounding every workers’ compensation hearing are different. In some cases, there may need to be more than one hearing. However, a hearing could last for as little as 1/2 an hour, or it could go for several hours, depending on the facts surrounding each particular claim. Multiple hearings could spread out over a few months.

Do You Need a Work Injury Lawyer?

Workplace injury victims do have the right to an attorney, and they should bring one. A Phoenix workers comp attorney will be able to help individuals prepare for the hearing by letting them know what to expect. An attorney will also gather all the evidence needed to prove the work injury victim’s claim.

What Happens in the Hearing?

There will be various individuals present at a workers’ compensation hearing, including the judge, the work injury victim and their attorney, as well as a representative from the employer or insurance carrier. If the workplace injury victim requires an interpreter, the judge will need to be notified about this before the hearing. An interpreter will be provided about the court.

At the workers’ compensation hearing in Arizona, you and your attorney will present your side of the case to the judge. The judge will take time to evaluate whether or not your story is to be believed as opposed to the story presented by the insurance carrier and the employer.

At the hearing, the insurance carrier will give the judge documents, referred to as exhibits, for them to review. These documents will include medical bills, medical records, last wage evidence, employment records, depositions and reports by other witnesses, and more.

In addition to the documents, the workplace injury victim will typically testify. This testimony will include information about how the injury occurred, the injuries, the signs and symptoms of injuries and the recovery process, details about pain and suffering, job duties, education, training, and any attempts to return to work.

Individuals who testify at these hearings will be under oath. The lawyer for the workplace injury victim will have a chance to ask questions, and then the insurance carrier’s attorney will have a chance to cross-examine the individual. The judge may also decide to ask questions.

In many cases, workplace injury victims or the insurance company may want to present other witnesses. This could include coworkers, insurance adjusters, and medical experts.

Where Does the Hearing Occur?

There are various areas in Arizona where a workers’ compensation hearing may take place. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has several offices located throughout the state. When you work with an attorney, they will be the ones to make sure that you know where to appear and what time you need to be there.