Workers compensation cases are not heard by judges at the local courthouse. The judge in your Virginia workers compensation case is called a Deputy Commissioner and he or she will have the power to do several things in order to properly determine the outcome of your case. Most commonly, you will see workers compensation Deputy Commissioners do the following in order to make a determination on your claim:
• Subpoena witnesses to give testimony
• Compel individuals, doctors, psychiatrists, and parties to produce documentation
• Hear testimony and make rulings
• Make an opinion or award order which states the decision
• Decide the disputed workers compensation issues
The power and duties of workers compensation Deputy Commissioners are outlined below in the Virginia Code Section 65.2-203:
“A. Deputy commissioners shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and hear the parties at issue and their representatives and witnesses, decide the issues in a summary manner, and make an award carrying out the decision. Deputies may exercise other powers and perform any duties of the Commission delegated to them by the Commission. “
Each workers compensation Deputy Commissioner runs their courtroom a little differently. However, they are all bound by the same duties set forth in the Virginia Code. The differences in the workers compensation Deputy Commissioners comes from their background. Many of them were previously lawyers that practiced workers compensation claims representing either injured workers or insurance companies. This is yet another reason it is so important to talk to a workers compensation lawyer before you go to a hearing for your workers compensation claim. An experienced workers compensation lawyer will know about the Deputy Commissioner assigned to hear your claim and will have a good idea of what they are looking for to prove your claim based on the Commissioner’s background and prior rulings they have made.
The Injured Workers Law Firm is focused on serving clients with workers’ compensation claims throughout Virginia. For answers to your questions about benefits download our book, The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia or call our office today (804) 755-7755. The Injured Workers Law Firm, serving Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, Manassas, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Hampton Roads and all of Virginia.