Can I Call Witnesses to Testify At My Workers’ Compensation Hearings?

by The Bainbridge Firm, LLC | Nov 25, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Injured workers often wonder if they are able to call witnesses to testify on their behalf at hearings before the Industrial Commission of Ohio. So long as the witness has information pertinent to the issue being adjudicated, they are free to provide testimony at a hearing. Witnesses called to testify before the Industrial Commission of Ohio are free to provide factual information relevant to the adjudication of a claim. Further, under certain circumstance an injured worker is able to compel an individual to testify in accordance with the Industrial Commission’s subpoena power under Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.08.

Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.08 provides the following:

“Each member of the industrial commission, and its deputies, supervisors, directors, and secretaries, appointed by the commission, and employees of the bureau of workers’ compensation designated by the administrator of workers’ compensation, may for the purposes contemplated by this chapter, administer oaths, certify to official acts, take testimony or depositions, conduct hearings, inquiries, and investigations, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents, evidence, and testimony.”

As the plain language of this code section provides, the Industrial Commission can in fact force individuals to attend a hearing and provide testimony under oath. Any injured worker in Ohio can ask the Industrial Commission to issue a subpoena forcing an individual to attend a hearing. However, the Industrial Commission will only issue a subpoena on an individual who has information that is essential and germane to the matter to be adjudicated. Therefore, if one is going to request that a subpoena be issued, they need to provide justification for that request.

If the Industrial Commission subpoenas an individual they are obligated to attend the scheduled hearing at which point the injured worker, typically with the assistance of counsel, has the opportunity to question that witness. In many instances, it is absolutely essential that witnesses be present at hearings to provide factual information regarding what has occurred in the course of a workplace accident.

If you feel as though you need to elicit witness testimony in order to properly adjudicate your claim don’t hesitate to contact the Bainbridge Firm so that we may help you in that process. We want to do everything we can to help you obtain all the compensation and benefits you deserve, and often in order to do that, witness testimony is necessary.