Why You Should Always Show Up At Your Evidentiary Hearing
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission recently dismissed a case because the claimant, or the injured person, did not appear for the evidentiary hearing. Read on to learn what happened and how you can prevent the same issue.
The injured person filed a claim saying that he had been injured at work a few days previously. He also claimed that he had an occupational disease. He was looking for medical benefits and temporary total disability benefits.
The evidentiary hearing was scheduled for two years later. A letter was mailed to the injured person several months before the hearing date, giving him the time, date, and location of the hearing. The injured person did not appear at the hearing; no attorney appeared for him either. He also did not give the court any information about why he was absent.
After the missed evidentiary hearing, the workers’ compensation insurance company filed to dismiss the case. The Commission granted the dismissal, because the injured person must be present at the evidentiary hearing. Not showing up at an evidentiary hearing is a reason for dismissing the case.
The injured person sent in a note saying that he had attended a hearing in another office, which the Commission understood as a request to review the case.
The letter giving information about the evidentiary hearing date was sent to the same address as the letter saying the case was dismissed. The letter with the date was not returned as undeliverable or otherwise having a problem.
The Commission agreed that dismissing the case was completely allowed, since the injured person did not show up for the hearing.
The Solution for You
The experience of this injured person shows the importance of having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney’s office will let you know when and where the evidentiary hearing is and will prepare you for the experience. Your case will not be dismissed for failure to show up.