I have been attending hearings at the Industrial Commission of since the late 1980’s. I always recommend having attorney assistance during the pre hearing and hearing phases of a workers’ compensation claim, but if you choose to represent yourself, here a few tips.
The best, and briefest, advice that I can provide is to streamline and simplify whenever possible. You should always focus on the one or two most compelling items of evidence that support your position. I have always found that each cases has one or two ” hooks,” or critical details that can make a difference .
Second, remember that you are presenting your case to an audience , specifically the Administrative Law Judge.Make it interesting compelling and simple. Simplicity sells. Boring a Judge and opposing counsel with irrelevant details creates an environment where no one is listening to you.
Even with medical evidence and conflicts, evidence can be simplified. Look for crux of the dispute if there are differing medical opinions. Are the physical exam results different? Is there missing data or images? Is there a conflict in the history?
It is easy to complicate things, and lawyers are notorious for complicating the simple. It is much harder, and much more effective, to provide a simple, concise presentation.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I have been practicing exclusively Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law since 1988. I am former ICA staff counsel and am a certified Specialist. You can see my reviews on www.avvo.com. Thank you.
Snow, Carpio, and Weekley