The adjudicatory branch of the workers’ compensation system is known as the Industrial Commission. Disputed matters are decided by this administrative agency using a three-tiered hearing process. Issues such as claim allowance, extent of disability, permanent partial impairment, permanent and total disability, lost-time payments and medical benefits represent a portion of the matters that are addressed by the Industrial Commission.
Legal representation at these hearings is not required, but is recommended, as third-party administrators are restricted in the manner in which they may participate in the hearing. Attorneys are able to make legal arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and make credibility arguments as to witnesses and/or medical evidence, while third-party representatives are prohibited from doing so.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Taft are vastly experienced in defending claims at each level of the administrative hearing process. Securing legal representation early in the claims process may directly impact the monetary exposure on a workers’ compensation claim and allow sufficient time to properly defend the claim.