It is estimated that approximately five percent of workers’ compensation cases actually go to trial. Workers’ compensation disagreements can be resolved through either a settlement or a trial. The term “evidentiary hearing” is an accurate description of a workers’ compensation trial. What this means is, the judge in charge of the workers’ compensation case reviews the evidence, objections, and will then provide a ruling after the trial is finished.
There are two types of evidentiary hearings for workers’ compensation cases, hardship hearings and final hearings. Hardship hearings are requested by employees when they dispute medical treatment or disability benefit payments. Final hearings are requested by either the employer or the employee when all medical treatments are completed and both parties have prepared all medical and expert evidence for the hearing.
Hardship hearing and final hearing procedures are the same. Evidence provided by the employee includes the testimonies of the employee and other known witnesses. Medical evidence includes certified copies of medical records and testimonies of doctors. Doctor reports can also be used as admissible evidence during the trial. The employer will also present evidence during the hearing, including certified medical records and doctor’s testimonies.
Evidence will remain in the file of the judge and will become permanent after the trial. After all evidence is presented, both parties can refute the position of the other party. The entirety of the case is usually not reviewed by the judge until any and all briefs are submitted. Once the evidence and briefs are reviewed, the final decisions are sent via mail to all parties involved in the case.
An experienced labor and employment lawyer can mean the difference between success and failure at your trial. If your workers’ compensation case is in dispute, consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today.