(1) In making an investigation or inquiry or conducting a hearing, the judge of compensation claims shall not be bound by technical or formal rules of procedure, except as provided by this chapter, but may make such investigation or inquiry, or conduct such hearing, in such manner as to best ascertain the rights of the parties. A declaration of a deceased employee concerning the injury in respect of which the investigation or inquiry is being made or the hearing conducted shall be received in evidence and shall, if corroborated by other evidence, be sufficient to establish the injury.
(2) Hearings before the judge of compensation claims shall be open to the public, and the Deputy Chief Judge is authorized to designate the manner in which particular types of hearings are recorded and reported and, when necessary, to contract for the reporting of such hearings. The Deputy Chief Judge shall arrange for the preparation of a record of the hearings and other proceedings before judges of compensation claims, as necessary, and is authorized to allow for the attendance of court reporters at hearings, for preparation of transcripts of testimony, for copies of any instrument, and for other reporting or recording services. The Deputy Chief Judge may charge the same fees allowed by law or court rule to reporters, persons preparing transcripts, or clerks of courts of this state for like services.
(3) The practice and procedure before the judges of compensation claims shall be governed by rules adopted by the Supreme Court, except to the extent that such rules conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
(4) All medical reports of authorized treating health care providers relating to the claimant and subject accident shall be received into evidence by the judge of compensation claims upon proper motion. However, such records must be served on the opposing party at least 30 days before the final hearing. This section does not limit any right of further discovery, including, but not limited to, depositions.