The New Normal in Pennsylvania Workers Comp

This morning I had an in-person hearing in Harrisburg. The photo below shows the waiting room at 9:00 AM. You can see that the waiting room is empty. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, on a Wednesday morning, this waiting room would have been nearly full. This still seems a little eerie to us experienced workers’ compensation attorneys that practiced well before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is not uncommon for Workers’ Compensation Judges to hold virtual hearings from the hearing rooms in between in-person hearings. First hearings, status hearings, mediations, even some testimony hearings are held by Microsoft Teams rather than in-person. Although some testimony hearings are in-person, it is certainly not consistent. Many are held virtually.

Each time I have a rare in-person hearing, it simply reminds me of the new normal in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation adjudication. It appears this new normal is now the permanent normal. Many of my clients go through the workers’ compensation litigation process without ever having any in-person hearing or even seeing the Workers’ Compensation Judge outside video. For us practitioners, we have adjusted to the new virtual Pennsylvania workers’ compensation adjudication process. After all those years of practicing in-person, we have become accustomed to the virtual process. Strangely enough, it is the in-person hearings that now seem the odd ball. Covid has changed the world in many ways. In Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, it has changed our entire practice.

If you have suffered a work injury, call Mooney Law today for a FREE consultation.  Mooney Law is experienced, proven, and trusted through Central Pennsylvania in workers’ compensation.  Call today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656.  You can also email us direct to schedule a consultation at info@mooney4law.com.  Finally, you can visit our website at Mooney4Law.com and complete the schedule a consultation form.  You can also follow this blog’s facebook page here.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.