Filing and Litigation of a Claim
After you report your injury to the employer, the employer and its insurance company generally have 21 days to take action on your claim. In some cases, the employer and its insurance company may agree that you have been injured and you may not ever have to go before a workers compensation judge. For more information about this process, see the Flow of a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Claim.
However, if you have been denied workers compensation benefits — either by receiving a Notice of Compensation Denial, Notice Stopping Temporary Compensation or because you have never heard from your employer’s workers compensation carrier — you need to consult with an attorney and find out what your legal rights are. Just because an insurance company is paying your medical bills does not mean you have an accepted workers compensation claim.
Even if an insurance company denies or ignores your claim, it does not mean that you cannot or will not get benefits. Sometimes, the insurance company doesn’t have all the information it needs, and other times there is no reason for denying benefits. If the insurance company denies or ignores your claim, a Claim Petition can be filed and you will have an opportunity to present your claim to a workers compensation judge, who will determine whether or not you should receive workers compensation benefits. For more information about this process, see the Flow of a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Claim (Litigated).
After your injury has been recognized by your employer and its insurance company, there are numerous other actions that your employer can take that can affect your continued receipt of benefits. If your employer files a Petition for Termination of Benefits, a Petition to Suspend Benefits, a Notice Stopping Payment of Benefits Under a Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable or a Petition to Modify Benefits, you need to seek the advice of an attorney to defend against the Petition. If you receive these documents or any other paperwork you are unsure about, call one of our attorneys immediately. Do not sign any documents sent to you by the employer unless you have thoroughly reviewed them with an experienced attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may be at a disadvantage against the experienced attorneys representing your employer and its insurance company.
Finally, it is generally against the law for an employer/insurance company to unilaterally stop paying you workers compensation benefits. If that happens, call one of our experienced workers compensation attorneys as soon as possible 724-225-9130.