This is a simple guide discussing how an injured worker's attorney should defend a request for Supersedeas in a Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation case.
Hire An Experienced Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Lawyer
This seems obvious but I am surprised at how many injured workers in Pennsylvania try to handle Supersedeas on their own. Although an injured worker will give up a 20% fee (paid on the wage loss benefits only) if the defense is successful, it greatly maximizes the probability of success both at the Supersedeas level, and in positioning the case for a fair settlement of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation case. Without an experienced Pennsylvania Work Comp lawyer, the injured worker is severely jeopardizing the entire case given the numerous complexities in the Pennsylvania Work Comp law.
Obtain Copies Of The Recent Medical Records
Submitting recent medical records of the injured Pennsylvania Worker is a key component in defending a Supersedeas request. The idea is to demonstrate to the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Judge that the injured worker is still actively treating, and experiencing ongoing symptoms and functional limitations. Most Judges prefer brevity so it is suggested that you read the records carefully and choose those which directly address the nature of the pending petition. It is wise to consider highlighting the specific portions of the records that you wish the Judge to review.
Submit A Supersedeas Affidavit
The injured worker, with the help of his experienced Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Attorney, should submit an Affidavit, preferably typed, which lists the current impairments and symptoms being experienced. Or, if the petition involves a job offer or a Labor Market Survey, the injured worker should address why he/she is not able to perform the job, or what attempts, if any, were made in procuring the job. Some Judges permit testimony at the Supersedeas hearing in addition to, or instead of, an Affidavit. It is strongly recommended that you research the requirements of the Judge who is deciding the pending petition (s). The Affidavits tend to be one to two pages and must address the allegations of the Petition to Terminate, Suspend, or Modify.
Submit Your Documents On A Timely Basis
Most Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Judges will either accept the Supersedeas documents at the first hearing, or allow a brief 14 or 21 day period in which to submit them. It is critical to submit the documents on or before your deadline- and it is strongly recommended to have them ready at the first hearing. Each Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Judge has different requirements, so one should become familiar with the particular Judge's rules, prior to attending the initial hearing. The attorney for the injured worker should submit a copy of the Fee Agreement along with the Supersedeas documents, unless advised otherwise by the presiding Workers' Compensation Judge.