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    What is the Burden of Proof and How Does it Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    Generally speaking, the “burden of proof” actually encompasses two types of standards: (1) the burden of production, and (2) the burden of persuasion. The burden of production refers to a party’s obligation to provide sufficient evidence to support the party’s claim. Typically, the burden of production lies initially with plaintiffs; i.e., plaintiffs must prove their case with sufficient evidence. If plaintiffs meet this burden, then the burden of production typically shifts to defendants to rebut plaintiffs’ evidence with their own evidence.

    The burden of persuasion refers to how convincingly parties must be in proving their case. In civil cases, parties have the burden of establishing their claim or defense by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means there is a more than 50% likelihood that their claim is true, or, put another way, the claim is more likely than not to be true. In criminal cases, the crime must be proved by the government “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    If you have been injured at work in Pennsylvania, let a Lancaster workers’ comp lawyer help you with any workers’ comp claims or any other types of legal claims you may have. We understand the laws and strategy behind the burden of proof and will use these standards to help you establish your claim.

    How Does the Burden of Proof Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

    In Pennsylvania, to successfully bring a workers’ comp claim, the injured worker has the burden of proof to establish their right to wage loss and medical benefits by a preponderance of the evidence. This applies not only to initial workers’ comp claims, but also to any claim made for reinstatement of benefits after wage loss benefits have been terminated, suspended, or modified.

    Briefly, in workers’ comp claims, workers must meet their burden of proof regarding:

    • Timely Notice. You must establish that your employer was notified in a timely manner; i.e., within 21 days of the injury. To be sure that you meet this burden, written notice is best.  
    • Course and Scope. You must establish that your injury occurred within the course and scope of your employment.
    • Causation. You must establish that your injury caused your disability and, in order to continue to receive benefits, continues to cause your disability.
    • You do not have to establish that your employer was negligent or responsible in any way for your injury. 

    Speak to a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer for More Information

    Ultimately, workers’ comp claims are similar to other types of civil law claims in that injured workers, or plaintiffs, carry the initial burden of proof to sufficiently establish their claims. This process sounds complicated and, unfortunately, is indeed quite complex. Due to the cost of medical treatment and lost wages, a workers’ comp claim should not be handled on your own, and should not be delayed. If you have been injured at work, let a Lancaster job injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you with your claim. You can contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.