When you are injured at work and receiving wage loss benefits, at some point your employer may file a Termination, Suspension, Modification, Review, or Petition to Compel petition against you. This is a direct threat to your benefits. Your employer has a right to file petitions to challenge your ongoing receipt of benefits. When should you expect the employer to file a petition against you? Below lists common reasons a petition may be filed, although certainly not exhaustive.
You underwent an Independent Medical Examination (IME)
Let’s first start out by saying these examinations are far from independent. Let’s also be clear that the scheduling of an IME is usually the beginning of hostile action against your benefits.
In many instances, when you attend an IME, you should expect a petition to be filed in your case. First, if you get a notice to schedule an IME, you must attend the examination. Failure to do so will result in the employer filing a Petition to Compel against you. Failure to attend after being ordered to do so by a Workers’ Compensation Judge will result in a suspension of benefits.
Second, after attending an IME, the IME doctor is likely going to find you to be fully recovered or perhaps releases you to return to work in some capacity. If the doctor finds you to be fully recovered, the employer will file a Termination Petition alleging you to be fully recovered from the work injury, even though your doctor has you on restrictions or out of work. If the IME doctor releases you to light duty, it will likely lead to a job offer based on those restriction, even though they may be inconsistent with your doctor. That will lead to a job offer and an eventual Suspension Petition being filed against you. These petitions are a direct threat to your benefits and you should call Mooney Law right away.
I could expand more on each of these scenarios, but the fact is, your benefits are being directly threatened.
You refuse certain medical care
Your doctor may recommend a certain procedure, injections, or surgery that you are not comfortable with at the moment. Your refusal to have that treatment may cause your employer to file a Suspension Petition for refusing to undergo reasonable and necessary medical care to get you better.
You refuse to return to work
Besides what was discussed above regarding the IME doctor, many times your own doctor will release you to light duty. You may not feel ready or may not want to return to the employer. The employer has a statutory right to accommodate your doctor’s restrictions. If the employer has light duty, then you will receive a job offer. If you refuse to return to work, the employer will file a Suspension Petition.
You voluntarily return to work
When you voluntarily return to work, either in light duty or to your pre-injury job, it will likely lead to a Suspension or Termination Petition being filed, particularly if you fail to sign a Supplemental Agreement. Many times, an injured workers will return to their pre-injury job, but remains in ongoing medical treatment. However, the employer may file a Termination Petition, alleging you to be fully recovered, despite ongoing treatment.
Conflicting surveillance or social media
The employer at some point will likely put you under surveillance. If surveillance shows that you are performing activities inconsistent with work restrictions, it will likely result in the filing of a Suspension Petition. Likewise, as part of surveillance, the injured worker’s social medial platforms will be reviewed for inconsistencies.
Failure to return income forms
The insurance carrier from time to time will send out income forms, LIBC 750, 756, and 760. These forms are to determine if you have any new, other income. Failure to return the forms in a timely manner will result in a Suspension Petition being filed.
Again, this list is certainly not exhaustive, but common reasons the employer may file a petition against an injured worker in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. If you have been injured at work, protect and fight for your benefits. Call Mooney Law today for an absolutely free consultation at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also email us to schedule a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, visit us on the web and complete the Schedule a Consultation form. We have obtained tens of millions of dollars on behalf of Pennsylvania injured workers. We not only settle cases, but are highly successful in workers’ compensation litigation. We can help!