When a Workers Compensation insurance company tries to stop paying benefits, an employee hurt at work has to act quickly to defend his or her rights.
If a Termination, Suspension or Modification Petition has been filed against you in a Pennslvania claim, or if your checks have simply been stopped, you need to immediately contact The Law Offices of Timothy Kennedy
to learn how to protect and advance your workers' compensation rights.
If it has been less than ninety days since you first lost time from your pre-injury job due to a work injury, chances are that any benefits you received were paid under a "Notice of Temporary
Compensation Payable" (NTCP) -- a widely abused mechanism that allows employers and insurance carriers to treat clearly compensable work injuries as if they were still in question for up to ninety days. During that time, employers or their insurance carriers can act entirely on their own to stop benefits, pushing onto you the burden of proof to establish you have a right to compensation. To learn more about the NTCP and how you can protect yourself from a sudden loss of benefits, see here.
If more than ninety days have passed since the first date of disability, and the workers' compensation insurance carrier has issued an NTCP but failed to file a "Notice Stopping Temporary Compensation" and "Notice of Compensation Denial", or if your claim has been accepted by a regular (non-"temporary") Notice of Compensation Payable, your rights are far more secure under the Act. In such cases, the burden of proof falls to the insurance carrier and employer to show a change in your disability status before benefits can legally be stopped. In such cases, they will be required to file a Termination, Suspension or Modification Petition. They may elect to file all three. Each has a somewhat different burden of proof for the employer/insurer, and each must be confronted in a different way by the injured worker and his or her attorney. In any case, you need advice and help from a skilled lawyer, preferably one who is a Certified Specialist in Pennyslvania Workers Compensation Law
There are also times when an employer or insurer may simply take "self-help" and stop an injured worker's benefits simply by failing to release checks when due, without pursuing their legal obligations and entirely in violation of the worker's rights under the Act. These are the easiest transgressions to solve, but typically this too will require the involvement of a skilled attorney.
When a workers' compensation carrier files a Termination, Suspension or Modification petition (referred to collectively as "change of status" petitions), the first thing they will do is request "supersedeas", putting the injured worker's right to benefits in immediate jeopardy. Follow this link for more on the supersedeas standard
Even without a petition, the employer and insurer will stop or reduce benefits if you have returned to work, even if you have been forced back to work before you are ready. If you are under pressure for a return to work, call us immediately to discuss your options and how best to preserve and advance your rights, both to secure ongoing benefits for the present and to preserve your potential for a large lump sum settlement relating to your injuries.
Regardless of the status of your claim or the mechanism used by the insurance carrier and employer to stop or attempt to stop your benefits, you need to act quickly whenever your benefits are under threat. If you do not already have a skilled lawyer advising you and helping to strengthen your case, you are way
overdue. But even if the insurance carrier and its skilled and experienced lawyers and advisors have already taken the time to stack up their evidence to support a stoppage of your benefits, it is usually not too late to act. An energetic and aggressive workers' compensation attorney
can help you secure the evidence you need to fight back, help to preserve your right to benefits, and help to give you the leverage you need to prevent the insurer and employer from stopping your benefits until you are either properly recovered and ready to return to work or, often better, until the employer and insurer are ready to settle your claim for a large lump sum appropriate to compensate you for your loss of earning capacity due to your injury and resulting limitations.
Call attorney Tim Kennedy today at 484-453-8144
to discuss your claim and exactly what the employer and insurance carrier may be trying to do. We can help defend against an immediate loss of benefits, help protect and advance your rights and help position you and your work injury claim for an appropriate lump sum settlement