This scenario happens frequently in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation cases. Why? Well, the insurer/employer is permitted an “Independent Medical Exam” every 6 months and they often send you to doctors who will have a propensity to opine that you’re recovered from the work-related injury and/or that any ongoing disability may be real but related to non- work related problems such as degenerative arthritis. A full recovery opinion will generate a Petition to Terminate your benefits and you’ll be in Court quickly.
First, make sure you retain an experienced, Certified PA Work Comp Lawyer. The Judges will tell you at the first hearing, if you’re not represented, that it’s HIGHLY recommended. It’s nearly impossible to litigate a case properly unless you’re an attorney. PA Workers’ Compensation has become quite complicated and technical. Moreover, it’s costly to obtain a doctor’s deposition which is necessary in most cases- let alone knowing how to take a deposition, knowing the rules of evidence, etc.
Another good idea to is schedule an appointment with your treating doctor. Take the IME report with you so your physician can review it and perhaps comment on it in their treatment notes. In this regard, your doctor make have different findings upon examination and we can utilize this to cross examine their expert when it comes time for a deposition.
You may receive a “Job Offer” letter from the employer if you’re still employed there. This can cause great anxiety as to whether to attempt the job or not. Speak to your attorney about this situation immediately upon receipt of any such letter.
A hearing will be scheduled after the Petition to Terminate is filed by the insurer/employer. The first stage of the case is called “Supersedeas” and you’ll need to speak to your PA Work Comp Attorney to determine what evidence you will submit at the first proceeding. This stage of the case is critical because if you lose then your checks stop or get reduced as the litigation unfolds over the next months thereafter.
Most importantly, do NOT panic. Remember, a doctor’s opinion is just that- an Opinion. It’s not a fact. Only you know how you feel. But hopefully your treating doctor will be on your side. If he or she isn’t, then speak to your attorney about seeing a new physician immediately.
Call Cardamone Law 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or email Michael@CardamoneLaw.com
All We Do Is Workers Comp- and Only for Injured Workers. There are virtually no other firms with 100% dedication to PA Workers Compensation.