If you have been injured at work and have filed a worker's compensation claim but have not been able to get your claim approved, then you need to know what to expect at your evidentiary hearing. If you have retained a worker's compensation attorney to help settle your case, then they will attend your hearing with you.
Since most people are nervous about their upcoming hearing, learning about the process helps to settle their mind. To this end, here is what you can expect at your evidentiary hearing:
Arriving at the Courthouse
You will receive a letter from the local court that will hear your case. The letter will give you instructions about where to go and what time your case will be heard. Some courthouses have limited parking and long security lines to get through, so you should arrive at the courthouse with plenty of time to get into your assigned courtroom. Arriving late to your hearing wastes the court's time and can bias a judge against you.
The Evidentiary Hearing Process
When you enter the courthouse you should remove your sunglasses and hat if you are wearing them. Turn off your cell phone so it will not disturb the proceedings.
When the hearing starts, the judge will review your case so everyone in the room understands the case being heard. If your attorney objects to any of the information that the judge presents, then they can object. The judge will make a decision about whether or not the evidence applies to the case.
Each Party Will Make a Brief Opening Statement
Once the judge has reviewed the case, then they will let both sides give a brief opening statement. During this time, both the insurance company's attorney and your own have a chance to explain why they are present and give an overview of the case from their perspective.
The Proof Phase of the Hearing
Once opening statements are finished, then the proof phase of the case is heard. During the proof phase, all of the witnesses will be sworn in and then asked to give their testimony under oath. The attorneys on both sides will be able to ask questions of each witness. After everyone has testified, then both sides will give their closing argument.
The Judge Rules on Your Case
Finally, the judge will take a few minutes to consider everything he has heard, apply the relevant law, and make a decision about your worker's compensation case.
Contact a law service, like Bishop Dorfman Kroupa & Bishop PC, for more help.