A: A hearing is a legal proceeding to determine what, if any, benefits are due under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. A Deputy Commissioner will be present to hear all evidence and testimony. The insurance company and employer will have an attorney representing their interests. The adjuster handling your claim may be present but not always. You will be asked to testify and to give your side of the story. Medical records, reports, and any other documentation in support of not only your claim but the insurance carrier’s claim, are submitted into evidence. Once each party presents their prospective case, the record is closed. The Deputy Commissioner will then issue an Opinion, weeks later, which is legally binding on both parties. There are various rules regarding whether a claim is able to be appealed and the time frame for doing so if either side wishes to seek an appeal.
If there is an appeal, no new evidence can be submitted during the appeal. If you are scheduled to have a hearing, you definitely want an attorney present to protect your rights.