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Can you appeal a workmans comp judges final decission?

Glen Rock, PA |

I am in littagation for a work related injury and I Propoased a settlement offer and the other side came back with a counter offer that was not even close to what I was seeking If we can't agree on a lump sum settlement and the Judge rules against me can I appeal that decission?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. If you can't agree on a number to resolve your claim, the litigation that is currently before the Judge will continue to be litigated until you get the Judge's Order. Once you get the Order, if you don't agree with the Judge then you can file an appeal.

    I suspect that you do not have a lawyer. If this is the case, you may want to reconsider.

    Regardless, best of luck to you.

  2. Yes, any decision may be appealed, but often, appeals to the WCAB are not successful, so It is very important to defend the case vigorously before the Judge or settle it. You should have the advice and representation of an attorney throughout this process

  3. Yes. You have 20 days from the date the Judge circulates his/her decision to file an appeal. All appeals must be filed on the form prescribed by the Bureau and filled out in their entirety. Presuming you have an attorney, you discuss the merits of such an appeal with your attorney. In terms of a settlement, the terms are likely negotiable. As such, even if the initial offer is not satisfactory, it is quite possible that a more "reasonable" figure can be obtained that both sides can live with. You should likewise address this issue with your attorney.

    Legal disclaimer: The advice provided does not create an attorney/client relationship. The within information contained herein is a general overview and does not apply to all states or situations as state laws vary. Every situation is different and the advice herein may not be applicable to your state. We have not undertaken representation of you and we will not file anything including, but not limited to, pleadings or petitions on your behalf. We will not protect any statute of limitations, which may exist in your state. We recommend that you consult with an attorney for legal advice, so that your specific concerns and situation can be analyzed by a legal professional in your state.

  4. Yes you may file an appeal to the Judge's Decision within 20 days of it being issued. The appeal would be filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board. The next and more complicated level of appeal would be to the Commonwealth Court of PA. Although you have the right to appeal, the outcome of any appeal is not guaranteed. In order to be successful on appeal you typically must demonstrate a clear legal error by the Judge or prove the Judge's decision in not based on substantial evidence. It is obviously better to win before the Judge or avoid the uncertainty of the Judge's decision by obtaining a fair settlement. If you are not represented by an attorney now most would or should only charge you a percentage of any settlement amount obtained over the amount already offered to you. Good luck. Rob Frantz, Esq.

  5. To add to what has already been said, I cannot overemphasis the importance of winning before the Workers Compensation Judge. If his/her decision comes down to a matter of belief, where the Judge accepts the credibility of one witness over that of another, you will not be successful on appeal. The Judge is the ultimate trier of fact and credibility determinations are not subject to review if there is any evidence in the record to support it. In that regard I see your question a little differently. The danger I see in your question is to assume you will be on the same footing you are now or may receive a better offer, if not successful before the Judge. Most likely if not successful before the Judge you would be in an even less advantageous position to resolve your case. Therefore you should evaluate settlement proposals against the likelihood of prevailing before the Judge, rather than holding out hope for a better outcome at a higher level.

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