Workers’ Compensation Hearings
Assisting clients in Portland, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties
The Oregon workers’ compensation system allows individuals to appeal denied workers’ comp claims. To do this, you must request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. While the formal process of appealing a denied claim includes requesting this hearing, many cases are resolved without the hearing actually taking place.
However, in some instances, you will need to appear at the hearing in order to appeal your denied claim. A hearing may also be necessary when requesting that specific medical conditions be included in a claim, when appealing denied medical treatment, and when appealing an Order on Reconsideration. In any case, a successful resolution requires extensive preparation, as well as an in-depth understanding of the law and how the workers’ compensation appeals process works in Oregon.
The Law Offices of Scott M. Supperstein, P.C. can represent you during this process. As an accomplished and knowledgeable Lake Oswego workers’ compensation attorney, Scott Supperstein understands the legal processes involved. He can help you navigate your workers’ comp hearing and seek the fair compensation you are owed.
What is the Workers' Compensation Hearing Process?
During your workers' compensation hearing you can expect the following to happen: your lawyer will present the Administrative Law Judge with documentation supporting your case, the ALJ will review the documents and hear evidence and witnesses from both sides (allowing for cross-examination), and then the ALJ will make a final decision on the case.
In most cases, workers’ compensation hearings occur when an injured worker needs to appeal a denied workers’ comp claim. In such cases, the hearing process begins when the worker files a request for a hearing before an ALJ. Once this request is filed, a notice of the hearing is then sent out to all involved parties, including the injured individual, his or her attorney, his or her employer, and the employer’s insurance provider.
The process then typically proceeds as follows:
- The worker and his/her attorney gather information to present to the ALJ to supplement the insurance company’s exhibit packet. Exhibit packets typically contain the formal opinions of medical professionals regarding the worker’s injuries.
- At the hearing, the presiding ALJ will review the provided exhibits and discuss them with the attorneys on both sides. Next, the ALJ will “go on the record,” officially starting the hearing. This allows the hearing to enter the official body of evidence in the case, which the ALJ will use to make a decision.
- Once the relevant exhibits have been reviewed and admitted, both sides (the insurance party and the injured party, both represented by an attorney) will be permitted to make an opening statement. This is used to provide insights into the evidence presented to the ALJ. Both parties are allowed to bring witnesses, though this is not always (or commonly) necessary. Similarly, either side may cross-examine witnesses if desired.
- Once all evidence has been presented and witnesses have been called/cross-examined (if relevant), both sides will present closing arguments, at which time the ALJ will review the entire body of evidence and make a decision in the case. The hearing concludes when the ALJ issues an Opinion and Order.
As you can see, the hearing is much like a court trial. However, it is different in that the hearing is typically far less formal—though no less important—than an actual trial. As the injured worker, you will likely be required to testify at the hearing. Your attorney can counsel you on this matter and ensure that you are fully prepared to testify.
Contact The Law Offices of Scott M. Supperstein, P.C.
The Lake Oswego workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can assist you in pre-hearing preparation, as well as represent you during the hearing proceedings. With over 35 years of legal experience and a proven track record of success, as well as AV Preeminent® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® for ethical practices and client service, Attorney Scott Supperstein is well-versed in the various aspects of Oregon’s workers’ comp system.