Your post raises a number of different questions due to insufficient information. However, the bottom line is that the employer is attempting to minimize its exposure -- potentially at your expense.
As a general rule, a Notice of Ability to Return to work must be sent when an employer obtains medical evidence that you are capable of working in some capacity. If it is not timely sent, the employer may be unable to win if it files a petition seeking to reduce or end your weekly benefits.
Based on your post, it appears that you went back to work after you were pressured to do so by your employer. The fact that you have attempted to do so should work in your favor in the event of litigation. However, you should not have to do a job that, due to your work-related injuries, you are unable to perform without severe pain.
Your case is at a crossroads, and the employer has a lot of tools available to it. If you do not have an attorney who can properly counsel you, you can end up losing benefits to which you are entitled.
You should thus seek an immediate consultation with a worker's compensation attorney if you have not already engaged one. The consultation should not cost you anything.See question
In light of its payments, workers' compensation has a lien and is entitled to a portion of any settlement with the third party. The amount to which it is entitled will depend on the terms of your workers' compensation settlement and the amount that you recover from the third party.
If, however, it has already been repaid the full amount of its lien by the 3rd party's carrier before your settlement, it would not be entitled to any additional payments.
What is more typical, however, is that the 3rd party's carrier settles with the injured worker, and the WC carrier's lien is then satisfied out of the 3rd party settlement.
Before you enter into any settlement with the 3rd party carrier, I recommend that you consult an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury claims where there is a workers' compensation lien.See question
As noted by Mr. Cullen and Mr. Jaffe, although have the legal right to file a Claim Petition on your own, you will almost certainly lose if you do so. There are too many procedural issues that can trip you up - not to mention the fact that there will almost certainly be significant costs associated with medical depositions and the like. In most instances, an attorney who accepts your case will front those costs.
Contact a workers' compensation attorney immediately; if he or she accepts your case, a Claim Petition will be filed. In addition, if the proper documentation accepting or denying the claim was not issued within 21 days, a Penalty Petition is likely also appropriate.See question
As Mr. Wolf noted, there are no set charges. It is governed by what the party taking the deposition agrees to pay to compensate the doctor for his or her time., and it is influenced by the doctor's practice, specialty and credentials.
If you are not represented by an attorney, you should immediately seek a consultation with an experienced worker's compensation attorney.See question
I note from your post that you got sick on the job in Maryland.
Was your workers' compensation claim filed under Maryland law or Pennsylvania law?
You should always be extremely careful about settling your claim for medical benefits if you anticipate receiving future treatment since there are many issues. Key questions include what treatment do you anticipate needing, and what is the cost of that treatment? How does that compare to funds that are offered? What happens if the funds run out? Finally, you may have to consider Medicare's interests.
If the case is a Maryland workers' compensation case, you should consult an experienced Maryland workers' compensation attorney. If it is a Pennsylvania claim, you need to sit down with a Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney.See question
Your scenario raises a number of issues.
First, from a workers' compensation perspective, you absolutely have a case. If your employer terminates you while you are still subject to restrictions, it must pay you continuing workers' compensation benefits until you finally return to work with a new employer, or until it can convince a judge that you should have returned to work.
Second, you ask if your employer can terminate you. The answer is probably, but it will depend on a number of facts. For example, are you a member of a union? Is your employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA") in which case, it is possible that terminating you would violate the ADA).
You should promptly consult an attorney who is experienced in handling workers' compensation cases.See question
You should discuss with your doctor whether the pinched nerve is in any way related to your employment.
If your doctor says that it is, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits even though your job says that you cannot get them. You should immediately contact a lawyer experienced in handling workers' compensation cases.
Unfortunately, even if you are entitled to workers' compensation, it sounds as though it might require the filing of a claim petition and litigation before the benefits will be paid. In the interim, in addition to checking on the availability of unemployment, you should also see if you are covered by a disability policy - either one that you bought yourself or one that you got because of your employment.
If none of these apply, depending upon your assets and household income, your other option may be public assistance.See question
Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hein are correct; under Pennsylvania law, you cannot sue your employer as a result of your injury and your treatment; workers' compensation is your sole and exclusive remedy.
As Mr. Taylor notes, you might have a medical malpractice claim; however, I suspect that unless the delay in treatment has negatively affected your treatment, most medical malpractice attorneys will not accept your case.
You should, however, consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers' compensation lawyer. It is not clear from your post whether the worker's compensation carrier has accepted your claim and has begun paying benefits. Often, however, they may not adequately describe the injury, or there may be an error in the amount of benefits that they begin to pay. Particularly if you have a longer recovery, they may also begin taking steps to try to reduce or cut off your benefits.
An experienced workers' compensation lawyer can review what the insurance company has done to ensure that you are getting the benefits to which you are entitled, and to protect your benefits in the future.See question
If you had not waived your right to appeal, you would now have to wait another 20+ days before the employer would even begin to process payment (which would probably take up to 20-30 additional days).
Because you waived the right to appeal (a good recommendation from your attorney), now that the order has been issued, the employer should begin processing the settlement check. However, it may take up to another 20-30 days before you get the check. If you are in trouble financially because of the delay, you may want to let your attorney know about the hardship. Otherwise, if you do not receive your check in the next 20 days or so, let your attorney know.See question