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What to Expect When You Sue Your Employer for Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a special type of benefit that provides compensation for medical expenses as well as lost wages suffered due to an illness or injury that occurs at work. This is considered a “no fault” benefit, which means that because it is offered, injured workers are not permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer – or even their coworkers – for negligence. However, the inability to sue an employer for workers’ compensation does not mean that no personal injury lawsuit can be filed, or that an employer can simply deny a worker’s claim and avoid having to provide compensation. When a workers’ compensation claim is denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in filing a claim petition in which you can appeal the initial decision. Additionally, there are many instances where a third party such as an equipment manufacturer may be in some way liable for your injury, and workers’ compensation does not preclude filing lawsuits against them. If you would like to know what to expect when you pursue your employer for workers’ compensation benefits after they have rejected your initial claim, the attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can help.

There is a very clearly prescribed process to filing a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. An employer or their insurer have just 21 days to issue a denial of a claim that has been submitted to them, and after that the employee has three years from the time that the injury occurred or illness was diagnosed to file a claim petition. Once a petition has been filed the case is assigned to a workers’ compensation judge and a hearing is scheduled. At this hearing, the judge will listen to all of the evidence that you provide in support of your claim, as well as the evidence for why your employer has denied you benefits. At this point the judge may refer the case for mediation or settlement. They may also simply hand down a written decision. Once the judge has made their decision, both the employee and the employer or their insurer have the right to file an appeal within twenty days to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board asking for reconsideration, and following this there are other appeals possibilities. Appeals can be made to the Commonwealth Court, or even to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Workers’ Compensation process is designed to be accessible to anybody, but the way that the system works, an employee is at a big disadvantage if they do not have an experienced, competent workers’ compensation attorney representing them – especially because there is a certainty that the employer or their insurance company will have legal representation. In order to give yourself the best possible chance of successfully winning your workers’ compensation claim, call the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law today.

Learn more about Workers’ Compensation HERE.