Formal hearings are held with an ALJ. These are semi-judicial proceedings. Witnesses are sworn in before testifying as in a court room. The parties have a right to present their own witnesses and cross-examine witnesses presented by other parties. Exhibits of documents and reports are entered into the formal hearing record. A court reporter records all testimony. After a hearing, the claim may be paid in full or in part, or the claim may be denied and the application dismissed.
All parties should be aware of the following in preparing for a hearing:
As soon as possible after the notice of hearing is received contact necessary witnesses and arrange to have them attend the hearing.
The Division may not receive evidence about an employee's loss of earning capacity unless notice of the intention to present this evidence and the name of the expert witness is given at least 60 days before the hearing.
Employees must file with the Division and the insurance carrier's attorney certified medical reports (WKC-16B) and a medical treatment statement (WKC-3) at least 15 days before the hearing.
The employee has the burden to present evidence of facts necessary to establish compensability of the claim in all cases including those in which the hearing was scheduled on the Division's own motion.
Postponement must be submitted in writing to the Division within seven days after the notice was issued with copies to all other parties.
Postponements will be approved by the Division because of extraordinary circumstances and will not be allowed for the convenience of the parties.
Failure to appear at a hearing as scheduled may result in a dismissal of the application or a decision by default.