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How Does a Workers Compensation Trial Work?

Georgia workers compensation hearings are decided by an administrative law judge (ALJ) and any party may appeal the decision within twenty days of the ALJ’s final award or order. The case must be appealed to the Board’s Appellate Division. The Appellate Division consists of a Chairperson and two (2) other Board members – collectively referred to as the Board’s Directors — who serve as appellate Administrative Law Judges.

Appearance before the Appellate Division shall be by brief only, unless a timely request for oral argument is made by an appropriate party. When such request is made, an oral argument date will be set within approximately (60) days of the filing of the underlying appeal. Board rules limit oral arguments to five (5) minutes for each party. Parties to an appeal are also afforded the opportunity to file briefs for the Appellate Division’s review and consideration.

Once an appeal has been presented at oral argument or otherwise submitted by brief, the Appellate Division will consider the evidence in the record and the parties’ arguments and subsequently issue a decision. By statute, the Appellate Division shall accept the ALJ’s findings of fact where such findings are supported by a preponderance of competent and credible evidence contained within the record. . If either party is unhappy with the Appellate Division decision, they may appeal to the next higher court, and so forth.

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