Having practiced Workers’ Compensation Law for 20 years, one of the most common questions a client will ask me once they receive a notice to appear at a hearing is whether or not they will have to talk. The answer to that question depends on why the hearing has been scheduled.
Obviously, an unrepresented claimant would have to do all of the talking with the presiding Law Judge and the insurance company’s attorney.
Some hearings are scheduled for testimony to be taken from the claimant, lay witnesses, or even medical experts. If the case is scheduled for testimony, the claimant will be questioned in detail regarding the circumstances surrounding the issue at hand.
If the case is not scheduled for testimony, the claimant will likely not have to speak at the hearing. Instead his or her attorney will do most, if not all, of the talking.
It is our practice to meet with clients before their hearing in order to fully prepare them for what to expect at the hearing.