The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Protecting Your Rights After a Workplace Injury
There are many stages of a workers’ compensation case, depending on the nature of the injury, the employer’s response and the extent of recovery. To get full value for your claim and protect your rights at every stage, you should involve an experienced work injury lawyer from day one.
At the Hazleton law firm of Laputka, Bayless, Ecker & Cohn, PC, we provide guidance and support from the date of your injury until your case is closed or settled. Our experienced attorney and paralegals serve injured employees in Luzerne County, Carbon County and the entire surrounding region of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We urge clients to contact us early in the claims process, but we can step in at any point to advocate for you.
Thirty-Plus Years of Experience Navigating the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
If you are injured in the course of your job, you should seek medical treatment and inform your employer in a timely manner. Before you say or sign anything, our lawyer can review the facts of your case to identify any potential problems. We also advise you on how to report the injury, how to deal with the employer-approved physicians, and how to present your claim to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau (WCB).
Our attorneys can guide you through the twists and turns of the workers’ comp system. They are highly knowledgeable about workers’ compensation law and the important considerations. You may not need legal representation until a year or more down the road, but if you do we will be familiar with you and the history of your claim.
Get Strong Representation to Appeal a Denial of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If the employer acknowledges your claim, your medical treatment is covered, and you will receive wage loss benefits until you are able to return to work. If the employer denies your claim (not work-related, not serious, not properly documented or whatever reason), you can request a hearing.
A workers’ compensation judge is assigned to your case, and a hearing date is set at a hearing location in your county. The judge will consider arguments from both sides, including medical testimony, and render a decision. It can take many weeks to get a hearing and several more weeks for a decision. Contact us as soon as you receive a Notice of Denial.
Modification, Suspension or Termination of Benefits
Many injured workers are approved for benefits without problem but run into trouble later (a) when they voluntarily return to work or (b) when the employer/insurer decides they are fit to return to work.
- If you return to work, you may still be entitled to benefits for a partial disability. Employers can seek to modify (reduce) your benefits based on a labor market survey.
- Your employer may offer you a job that acknowledges your work restrictions, but then move to suspend your disability pay and medical care.
- If an employer believes you are no longer disabled, you can be subjected to an independent medical exam (IME), which is really a defense exam. If you are deemed sufficiently recovered, the employer can try to terminate your claim.
The WCB requires mandatory mediation for cases involving modification, suspension or termination. This expedited process actually resolves many cases because of the time, expense and uncertain outcome of litigation. However, if we cannot negotiate a settlement or solution through mediation, our attorneys are fully prepared to take your case to court. They have prevailed in hearings, trials and appeals at every level of the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims process.
Make Sure to Hire an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
There is no substitute for 30-plus years of focused experience in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims. Our Hazleton-based attorneys and paralegals are committed to upholding your rights. You can always reach our attorneys or one of our two dedicated workers’ comp paralegals to get prompt and straightforward answers to your questions.
There is no charge for your consultation, and if we represent you in a hearing or appeal of your denied claim, there are no attorney fees unless we recover benefits for you. Email us or call us at 570-861-5905, and we will rush you a free workers’ compensation information packet.