The Appellate Process in Worker’s Compensation Cases

Appealing a Worker’s Comp Case in Pennsylvania

If the state denied your worker’s comp case, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appellate process for worker’s compensation is complex and requires a persistent approach one step at a time. Having an experienced lawyer at your side is helpful. Our attorneys are experienced in filing appeals and know how to reach a favorable outcome for our clients. We are available to review your case and help you pursue a favorable decision. 

A Negative Decision in a Worker’s Comp Case

On occasion, a worker’s comp case will be denied. The rationale for doing this varies from failure to fill out the claim appropriately to begin with or a disagreement over the severity of the claimant’s injuries.  If the decision is not overturned by an administrative judge, the claimant can file an appeal. When doing this, forms must be filed correctly and on time. Failure to do this could result in an appellate denial.

The Pennsylvania Appellate Process

The appellate process in Pennsylvania follows the following rules:

  • Filing the appeal: A circulation date is given on the front page of the judge’s initial decision. The claimant must file the appeal within 20 days of this date. The claimant mails two copies to the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board. The packet must include an original copy of the initial decision and final proof of service document. In addition, the filing must include a statement outlining the reasons for the appeal and pertinent findings in the case. 
  • Appearance before the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board: During this phase, the worker’s employer and an insurance company representative will appear before the board. After the evidence is presented, the WCAB will provide its decision.
  • Appeal to the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania: When the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board upholds the original denial, the claimant can still appeal to the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania. This second appeal must be dated within 30 days of the WCAB negative response. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court will examine the WCAB denial and determine if the evidence substantiated the denial or if WCAB made an error. The Commonwealth Court sends a written decision to the claimant.
  • Appealing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court: All is not lost when the commonwealth court denies the claim. The claimant still can appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The majority of all appellate cases do not go to the state supreme court. To reach the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the claimant must file a Petition for Allowance within 30 days of the Commonwealth Court’s decision. The case is not automatically heard, and the Supreme Court must decide whether they will hear the case. If the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denies the petition, the commonwealth court’s decision stands. On the other hand, if they decide to hear the case and issue a written decision, their decision will stand and is final. 

Don’t Let a Denial Stop You

If your initial worker’s comp case is denied, you can still pursue compensation. The Travis Law Firm has experienced attorneys who will pursue your claim in the appellate court and further if need be. By appealing your case, you may be able to obtain the benefits you deserve. 

The Travis Law Firm – Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

The Travis Law Firm will fight for your rights in a worker’s comp case. Our attorneys are experienced in this type of case and work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at (814) 277-2222 or contact us online to schedule a free case review. We’ll have your back at every step of the way.