What happens at the hearing? The hearing is where evidence is presented. The employee and other relevant witnesses (employer, witnesses to the accident, sometimes medical workers) will answer questions posed by the lawyers for the employee and the lawyer for the employer.
Is a hearing required? Not always. If the employee and the employer / insurance carrier can resolve their disputes, mainly regarding the amount of damages, then a hearing is not required. The two sides can enter into a written agreement as to the terms and have the agreement’s terms approved by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. In some cases, mediation may be an alternative to a full hearing.
Where does the hearing take place? The Commission will assign a judge to the city or county where the accident happened (in some cases an adjoining city or county may be used). The Commission will give both sides instructions on the location of the hearing and directions to the hearing.
Are lawyers required? The employer / insurance carrier must have a lawyer. The employee can represent him or herself. Because the other side will have a lawyer, however, the employee will be disadvantaged if they don’t use their own lawyer. The fee for the employee’s lawyer is set by the Commission (it’s usually a percentage of the award) and is deducted from any award.
Attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., represents employees in Norfolk and throughout Virginia who have been injured at work or who became ill because of their work environment. He knows how to negotiate and try workers’ compensation claims, including presenting the right evidence, preparing you for the questions you’ll be asked, and making arguments on your behalf. He will fight to get your medical bills paid and to get you full and fair compensation for your lost wages. To discuss the specifics of your situation in greater detail and learn more about what he may be able to do for you, call (888) 694-1671 today.