I filed a claim on my own and now I have received a referral to the hearing docket. What does this mean?
Simply put, it means you are going to court. The employer or the insurance company has advised the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission that some part of your claim has NOT been accepted. As a result, a Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission will be assigned to handle the hearing. This means your case will be set for a hearing in the near future.
Generally, the stress of testifying begins when the injured worker receives notice from the Commission that issues have been filed by a party in the case. Filing issues means there is a dispute between the employee and the employer/insurer that requires the assistance of a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner to resolve. The stress may build as you wait for the hearing to be scheduled. When the hearing is scheduled a written notice is sent from the Commission to all parties in the case and their lawyers reflecting the time, date, and location of the hearing site. It is not uncommon to get a call from a client shortly after he or she receives the Notice of Hearing. Very few people are familiar with the hearing process, so when a firm date is set most people want some explanation as to what to expect at the hearing.
Workers’ compensation hearings are not as formal as court proceedings in that the formal rules of evidence do not apply. However, witnesses do testify under oath and are subject to cross examination by the attorney representing the opposing side. It is always advisable to be truthful, regardless of whether they feel their response to a particular question may harm their case. Being honest goes a long way in workers’ compensation hearings, as Commissioners certainly consider a witness’s credibility in their decision making. Regarding decision, Commissioners do not issue them from the bench. All hearing orders must be issued in writing meaning the parties have to wait a few days or weeks to find out the outcome of their hearing. If a party is not happy with the decision, the Commissioner’s order can be appealed to the Circuit Court.
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Our clients come first. We work hard on each and every case for the benefit of our client and his or her family. We have extensive knowledge about Virginia laws regarding injuries at work and workers’ compensation. No case is too difficult for our team. We work efficiently to achieve positive outcomes. Save yourself time by hiring someone who will work on your side in an aggressive manner. You deserve the best, and we are here to help you get your benefits.
Contact us today to schedule your first consultation. At this appointment, we will discuss your specific case and the hurdles we must overcome to get you your benefits. We will navigate the process for you, making it easy to understand. Contact us today!