In order to file a claim for workers’ comp benefits, you have to have a doctor’s note or report that says that you are disabled because of a work injury. Next, after you’ve filed the claim, the Department of Industrial Accidents, or DIA, will schedule a meeting called a conciliation. The purpose of the conciliation is to make sure that all the paperwork is in order and also to see if the insurance company might reconsider and voluntarily start paying you workers’ comp.
If the insurance company won’t voluntarily start paying workers’ comp at conciliation, the case is sent on to a judge at the DIA for what’s called a conference. At the conference, the judge will hear arguments from your lawyer and from the insurance lawyer, and then decide whether or not the insurance company has to start paying you workers’ comp.
And if the insurance company or you are not satisfied with the judge’s order, you can appeal. After an appeal, you’ll be examined by another doctor that’s selected by the DIA– that doctor’s called an impartial physician who will review the medical records that your lawyer and the insurance company submitted to the DIA. And the impartial physician will also examine you and write a report.
Finally, after that, the DIA will schedule a hearing, which is a trial. At trial, you’ll testify. And there may be other witnesses who will testify. And your lawyer and the insurance company lawyer will submit documentation, medical and non-medical documentation, to the judge. The judge will review all the evidence and issue a written hearing decision.