Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein. In Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases, hearsay objections most often occur in the context of medical evidence. If a claim is for more than 52 weeks of compensation, the party seeking to introduce medical evidence must take a deposition of the medical professional who issued the report or notes. Otherwise, the other attorney will object on hearsay grounds. The purpose of the rule is to authenticate the statements/evidence that is being introduced and to allow the attorneys to question the person who made the statements. This way, the Judge knows who made the statements, why they made them, and when. It makes the evidence generally more reliable.
In claims for 52 weeks or less of compensation for lost earning power, medical reports are admissible without the need for sworn testimony. The idea here is that the parties can avoid significant deposition costs when the amount of compensation at issue is limited.
Hearsay can also come into play in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases when an injured worker or a lay witness (ie, non expert) testifies about something someone else had allegedly said. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule. But the most contentious objections regarding hearsay tend to surface with expert medical evidence.
For more information about the Rules Of Evidence and Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law, call experienced Pennsylvania Work Injury Lawyerr, Michael W. Cardamone 7 days a week for a free consult at 215-206-9068 or email Michael@Cardamonelaw.com