The award of a penalty is discretionary with the workers compensation judge. You can get up to a 50% penalty on the late paid checks. The more of a pattern you can prove, the more likely a penalty will be awarded. Keep the envelopes the checks were mailed in and a copy of each late paid check or the pay-stub. If you don't have an experienced workers compensation attorney, you should consult with one now. Preferably, an attorney who is certified as a specialist in workers compensation is the type off attorney who can best help you.
I doubt that there is anything that you can personally do to change things. It sounds like your attorney has taken the appropriate step by filing the Penalty Petition. You can/should be paid in the manner in which you received your paychecks (weekly, bi-weekly etc.) so perhaps asking for that during the litigation of the penalty petition will afford some more certainty. Unfortunately, this happens quite often, and you are not alone in getting this frustrating treatment from the IC.
Francis J. Lafferty, IV, Esquire Helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.norlaflaw.com; www.workers-compensation-blog.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do on your own. Talk to your lawyer about whether you can work out a settlement in your case to get out from under your dependency on weekly payments.
Attorney Wolf is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania only. He is Certified as a specialist in the practice of workers' compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Section on Workers' Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A response from Attorney Wolf cannot constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to arrange to speak with Attorney Wolf, he can be reached at 610-323-7436.
Unfortunately, there really is nothing you personally can do about this. It sounds like your attorney has taken the proper steps and filed a Petition for Penalties, which is really the only thing which can be done.
As has already pointed out, you can file a penalty petition and a judge can assess a penalty of up to 50% of the amount of the check. Results can certainly vary among judges. However, I always point out that your workers' compensation wage loss checks are in essence a replacement for your paychecks. Just as the your insurance adjuster, or even the judge, expects a paycheck on a particular day of the week, you have just as much right to timely payments.
Karl is a certified workers' compensation specialist in Pennsylvania. The answer to this question is based on Pennsylvania law only. Workers' compensation statutes and case law vary from state to state.
If you are not represented at this point, you should retain a Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation in order to file a Penalty Petition. Whether penalties are issued and the amount is totally discretionary with the assigned Workers' Compensation Judge. Each Judge is different and each case is unique with it's own set of circumstances, so there is no hard and fast answer. The good news is that once you have a Penalty Petition filed, the situation comes to light, and, is typically resolved, either by agreement or a Judge's Decision. Depending on the severity, your lawyer can subpoena the workers' comp. adjustor to testify as to the late payments.....that usually gets some fast action. Best of luck, and I empathize as this does affect peoples' lives unnecessarily.
You can't really do anything. Your attorney should and if (s)he makes you feel like a burden, tough luck for your attorney. That is what you hired them to work on. It is not always an easy problem to fix, but your attorney should know hot to fix it and should move the process forward. If you sit down with your attorney and discuss this and are still unsatisfied, it may be time to find a new attorney. I always encourage people to try to resolve their differences with their current representation before trying to hire new counsel. Good luck.
As has been pointed out already, the only real course of action that can be taken in response to this issue is to file a Penalty Petition. You cannot force the insurance carrier to send you your checks on time. However, a judge can penalize them for not doing so.
The above information posted by Thomas J. Pivnicny, Esquire is intended for general purposes and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create any attorney-client relationship. You should not rely on the above information for any purpose. Always consult with an experienced attorney for answers to your legal questions.