You were injured at work. There is no doubt about your injuries, where they happened and how severe they are. However, a workers’ compensation judge still denied your claim for the benefits that you need while you are unable to work. It is easy to be frustrated about Pennsylvania’s complex, bureaucratic workers’ comp. system. However, it is important that you don’t lose hope. You have options, including filing an appeal.
In Pennsylvania, you can appeal a claim denial to the commonwealth’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. This board reviews the judge’s ruling and determines if the workers’ comp. judge violated your rights or misapplied the law. Knowing how to navigate the appeals process is essential.
Respect The Deadlines And Talk To A Lawyer
The most important thing to be aware of is that you have a very small window for filing an appeal. You have 20 days from when the judge denies your original claim to file an appeal.
The next thing you need to do is talk with attorney if you haven’t already done so. Your appeal will not involve presenting new evidence or witness testimony. Instead, it will be attempting to prove that the judge misapplied the law or issued a ruling that was supported by the evidence.
This is an extremely complex area of the law that you should never attempt to try to prove on your own. Talk with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about your case as soon as possible and let them help you determine the best way to proceed.
The Next Steps In The Process
If the board also rejects your appeal, you then have 30 days to file an appeal in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Of course, the best way to avoid the long appeals process is to work with an experienced lawyer early on when preparing your initial claim to prevent any errors. A lawyer can walk you through the entire process and help ensure your initial claim is accurate and provides necessary supporting evidence.