Most hearings are held in hearing rooms at the commission in Phoenix or Tucson. Outside of Phoenix and Tucson, hearings are held in hotels, government offices, or other facilities that have meeting rooms. The location of the hearing will be on the Notice of Hearing. You, the ALJ, the defendants’ lawyer, and a court reporter will be present at the hearing. There may also be a representative of the employer or the insurance carrier who is allowed to sit in at all hearings. Witnesses are usually asked to wait outside the hearing room until they are called to testify.
The ALJ will start the initial hearing by introducing the case and identifying the issue(s). Since injured workers usually have the burden of proof, you will go first at the hearing. The ALJ may ask you some preliminary questions. The defendants’ lawyer can cross-examine you and your witnesses. You will have the opportunity to cross-examine defense witnesses.
Medical witnesses often testify by telephone at further hearings. The parties usually appear in person but may be permitted to participate by telephone. You should check with the ALJ’s office if you are not sure whether you need to attend the hearing in person.
The hearing is your only opportunity to present evidence and prove your case. Bring any notes or papers you think you might need. You should think about what questions you want to ask and write them down before the hearing. Usually, after the last hearing, you will not be allowed to call additional witnesses or submit any additional documents or evidence into the record.