What is a contested case hearing?
A workers' compensation trial or contested case hearing is usually a much more informal type proceeding. You go into the judge's office. It's a small office. You will go in and there will be a chair sitting right next to the judge's desk. And you just go and you sit in the chair, you swear to tell the truth, and you just tell the judge what happened. But it is what decides your case.
And so, even though there aren't rules of evidence at a contested case hearing, there are certain rules that you have to follow. So, for instance, you have to get all of your exhibits together and you've got to get all of your exhibits exchanged with the other side. You've got to get witness statements, and you've got to let the other side know what those witnesses are going to say in their witness statements.
All those things need to happen ahead of time. And because that stuff entails specialized legal things with respect to your case, and because the other side is going to have a lawyer represent them, it's important that you have a lawyer as well.