Suffering an injury in a workplace accident is scary enough, but when your workers’ compensation claim is denied, it can be a nightmare. The good news is you can appeal and request a hearing before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. First things first, ensure that you have legal help before you appeal for the hearing. An experienced Virginia workers’ comp lawyer can help you get the benefits that you deserve and argue on your behalf. Before you appear for a workers’ compensation hearing, here are the things you must know.
- You need to be present. Your testimony is one of the key things that matter for such cases, and the Deputy Commissioner will want to hear your side, for which you need to be present in person. Do not skip this.
- Beware of the defense attorney. The defense attorney is working for the insurance company, and they are not interested in helping you. They would, in fact, do anything to ensure that the insurance carrier’s money doesn’t go for a toss. That’s one of the key reasons to present your case so that you are not denied your rights based on mere technicality.
- There are no detailed notes of the minutes. Besides the Commissioner’s ruling, you need to know that the hearing transcript is not recorded. However, a clerk will be recording the hearing, and the same is only shared when someone makes an appeal.
- Witnesses are important. Just like the claimant, the witnesses are expected to be present at the hearing. Just a written statement is not enough. Make sure that the people who are willing to testify make it to the hearing.
- You must present evidence ahead. You are required to file the evidence before the date and time of the hearing. Anything that you want to share with the Deputy Commissioner must be communicated in advance.
- The decisions are not made on the same day. The decision of the Deputy Commissioner will be shared with you after the hearing via mail. It usually takes anywhere between four to eight weeks after the hearing.
- You can appeal. What if you are not happy with the Deputy Commissioner’s opinion? You have the right to appeal, and the insurance company also has the same right. There is a deadline for that, and therefore, ask your attorney.
Call an attorney today to understand what to expect at the hearing.