What should I expect when I go in front of a workers compensation judge?


What should I expect when I go in front of a workers compensation judge?


By the time your claim is in front of a workers compensation judge, it is likely you have already gone through several stages of appeals. You may be frightened and concerned about whether you will end up receiving any benefits at all. As such, it is imperative that you know and understand what to expect when going in front of a workers compensation judge so you can go into the hearing calm and prepared. 

  • The first thing to know is that a workers comp judge is an administrative law judge. This means you aren't going into a court of law; you are dealing with an administrative agency created by the legislature to oversee workers comp. While an administrative law judge does have the power to make a binding decision on your workers comp claim, the hearing may be less formal and the rules of evidence may be different than in a civil court, depending on where you live
  • The second thing to know is that the exact rules or requirements for what to expect will vary by state. Each state has a different set of rules for workers comp, and the administrative agencies are organized differently. For example, in some states, you may actually have a panel of multiple workers comp judges deciding your claim. 

When you go in front of a workers comp judge, usually you will just have to present your evidence as to why you believe you are entitled to benefits. Having witnesses can help, as the witnesses can testify on your behalf. Having a lawyer is also invaluable, as your lawyer can assist you in gathering any and all evidence the judge may need to make his decision. 

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