For a lot of people, the workers’ compensation hearing is their first encounter with the legal system. Like all issues related with the legal system, a lot of people view this with dread. This should not be the case if you have an idea of what goes on at a workers’ compensation hearing.
Your workers’ compensation hearing is very important in deciding your claim. When you appear before the judge, you want to look responsible and convey to the judge that you take the proceedings very seriously. You should dress in a manner that is somewhat official and not overly flashy. Avoid revealing clothing or showing your tattoos or piercings. The way you are dressed before the court can have an impact on the outcome of the hearing.
In Arizona, hearings are held in multiple places. It could be at the Industrial Commission of Arizona located at 800 W.Washington Street, Phoenix; the Tucson Industrial Commission of Arizona located at 2675 E. Broadway Boulevard; Yuma; Prescott or Flagstaff. If you have a workers’ compensation attorney guiding you through the process, he would promptly communicate the venue for the hearing to you.
The people at the hearing would be you, your attorney, your employer’s insurance company’s attorney and a company representative. There is also a court reporter who records the proceedings. If you need a translator, you can always ask the court to provide one for you.
The hearing begins when the judge opens the record. After doing this, he asks if the attorneys have a preliminary matter to state on record. If there isn’t, the judge would ask you to take the stand.
Yes, you have to take an oath. The judge would ask you to raise up your right hand and take a oath like this: I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
After taking the oath, you attorney would ask you questions to set the facts of the case straight. You could be asked about yourself, how you sustained the injury, present treatments and your physical status. When your attorney is done, the other attorney would cross-examine you to clarify some issues. If there are witnesses present, they would be questioned regarding the case.
When all witnesses have testified, the judge would conclude the hearing. He can set another date for hearing the doctors on both sides. It isn’t mandatory for you to be present when the doctors are giving their testimonies. When the case has been concluded, judgement isn’t given on that day. The judge sends a written copy of the decision to your attorney. It is your attorney’s responsibility to tell you what the judgement is about. Your attorney would be there to answer any question you have regarding the hearing.
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