Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

Latest from Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog - Page 2

As we have previously discussed, within the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, there lies a trap for unwary injured workers.  Actually, there are many traps in the Act, but for today, we’ll just deal with this one. When a workers’ comp insurance carrier thinks (and this is a critical word) that an injured worker has returned to work, the insurance company can file a Notification of Modification (if there remains a partial wage loss) or…
We are all struggling through an unprecedented time due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  This global pandemic has infected thousands, and forced the sheltering of millions and closure of businesses across the world (including our offices).  In Pennsylvania, hundreds have already been infected, with experts predicting the spread to get worse, before it gets better. This condition attacks the respiratory system, and can cause grave bodily harm, especially in those particularly vulnerable.  Disability,…
By now, most Pennsylvanians have heard that Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in PA to close their physical locations, as of 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020.  Along with this announcement, the Governor’s office released a list of what businesses qualify as “life-sustaining.”  Law firms are specifically excluded from this list.  Obviously, we all want to see the end of the Coronavirus pandemic, and we all must do our part.  As…
Since last week, there have been several additional cancellations and closures in the PA workers’ compensation system due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  All Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Hearing Offices in Pennsylvania remain technically open, other than Dresher, Bristol, Harrisburg, Malvern, and Upper Darby.  However, many Workers’ Compensation Judges across the Commonwealth have cancelled his or her hearings. In addition to the impact on the various workers’ compensation hearing offices, we have been informed that, “Due…
***UPDATE 4:10 pm*** We were just notified that ALL of the Workers’ Compensation Hearing Offices are CLOSED until further notice.  We suspect that would be until AT LEAST March 30, 2020.  We will, of course, keep everyone informed. ***UPDATE 2:30 pm***  You can add the workers’ compensation hearings in Doylestown, Easton, Gettysburg, Chambersburg and York to the list of those cancelled until at least March 30, 2020. Since last week, there have been several additional…
By now, we are all too familiar with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  At this point, governments, individuals and businesses are still evaluating how best to protect each other and ourselves against this pandemic. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is largely still open and operating on a normal basis.  Hearings are generally still taking place, though the situation is being monitored.  One hearing office, however, has been closed for at least a two week period.  The…
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation hearings are generally held in each county in the Commonwealth.  Some smaller counties may share hearing facilities, while more populous counties may have a second location.  The county in which the injured worker resides is typically the county in which hearings will be held, provided the injured worker lives in PA. For several years, hearings in Bucks County have been divided between Bristol (for Lower Bucks County) and Doylestown (for Central and…
Ordinarily, reinstating PA workers’ compensation benefits for an injured worker is not a high burden.  As we have previously discussed, usually benefits can be reinstated when the reason for the suspension of workers’ comp benefits no longer exists.  When the injured worker once again suffers a loss in earnings due to the work injury, through no fault of the injured worker. benefits are to be reinstated.  Case law tells us that a medical deposition…
Usually, if the testimony of an injured worker, and that of the medical expert offered by the injured worker, is not found credible by the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ), there is no way to win the case.  This highlights just how important it is to have a “presumption” under the law, such as that available to firefighters.  As a recent decision of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania shows, having the “presumption” can be the difference…
One of the important aspects to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”) is Section 309, which deals with the calculation of the Average Weekly Wage (AWW), controlling the amount of benefits an injured worker in PA will receive.  We have discussed these calculations in previous blog posts.  Additionally, the concept of a “seasonal employee” has been addressed here.  Recently, the Commonwealth Court of PA has again touched on the meaning of “seasonal employee.”…