Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, when a compensation judge makes an investigation or conducts a hearing, the compensation judge is bound neither by the common law or statutory rules of evidence nor by technical or formal rules of pleading or procedure. Hearsay evidence which is reliable is admissible. The investigation or hearing shall be conducted in a manner to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties.
Findings of fact shall be based upon relevant and material evidence only, as presented by competent witnesses, and shall comport with section 176.021.
Except where a compensation judge orders otherwise, depositions may be taken in the manner which the law provides for depositions in civil actions in district court.
A hospital record relating to medical or surgical treatment given an employee is admissible as evidence of the medical and surgical matters stated in the record, but it is not conclusive proof of such matters.