If you have suffered from an injury at workplace, you’d often think that there is Workers’ Compensation Act to protect your rights and interests. But if you read about people who have had to deal with the trauma of an injury and its aftermath, you’d come across numerous stories where employers and their insurers have used every possible means to deny injured employees their rightful compensation. In fact, the system is anything but fair and friendly to people who have suffered injuries at workplace.
At a time when your mind is likely to be occupied with the thought of recovering from your injury and getting your life back in order your employer and their insurers might be plotting to deny you the benefits. If the system was completely fair there would be no demand for workers’ compensation attorneys in America. While there are employers who support an injured employee in the aftermath of an injury these numbers are way lesser than those who prefer to wash their hands-off injured team members. At times it is the insurers who force employers to look the other way.
It is important for you to stay alert about the steps that your employers are likely to take in order to deny you the rightful workers’ compensation benefits. Here we shall look at the three types of compensation petitions that your employer is likely to file in order to stop your compensation and what you need to do in such cases.
Three Types of Petitions You Need to Fight
Type 1 – Termination Petition – This is the most common type of petition that your employer is likely to file in the aftermath of your injury claim. As the name suggests in this petition the employer would try and prove that you have fully recovered from the injury suffered at the workplace and are physically fit to resume active work without any restrictions. This petition will have to pass through medical scrutiny and if the employer can establish the fact that you have recovered from your injuries your benefits are likely to be stopped.
In the event of this petition you will receive a notice from stating the termination of your benefits and you need to immediately get in touch with your workers comp attorney to seek the right kind of legal guidance and challenge this unfair step taken by your employer or their insurer.
Type 2 – Suspension Petition – The second type of petition that is filed by the employer is the Suspension Petition. This petition is filed to stop your wage loss benefits that are offered under the Workers’ Compensation Law. Under this petition the employer will continue to provide you with the medical benefits. Usually this petition is used when employees return to work at the request of the employer but aren’t able to do the same kind of work as before though they continue to draw the same wages as before.
In this kind of petition your employer will need to get your signature on what is called a Supplemental Agreement or the Notice of Suspension after you have resumed work. They may engage in encouraging talk to have you sign this agreement. You should politely refuse to sign this agreement before talking to your attorney who can explain to you the legal ramifications of signing this one. Your workers comp attorney can challenge the unjust notification within a period of 21 days of this being filed with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. It is thus important for you to keep this 21-day deadline in mind.
Type 3- Modification Petition – Though this type of petition is less used as compared to the earlier one we have seen; you still need to stay prepared for it. Such petitions are filed when you have resumed work after the injury in a reduced capacity compared that prior to your injury and draw lesser wages as compared to the past. The employer in a bid to get you off the rolls might use the Modification petition to suggest that there are other jobs which can be performed with the kind of restrictions you have, and the same jobs are available within your geographical reach. There are times when the employer might even force you to take a vocational interview. In such cases your wage loss would be calculated based on the difference between your current ways and not the wages prior to your injury. In many cases you can be completely denied the benefits.
If you have received a request to undergo vocational interview or received a notice on the Modification petition you need to immediately get in touch with your attorney and they will offer you the right direction in order to protect your rights and worker’s compensation benefits.
Keep these things in mind and choose a reputable workers comp attorney and they will protect your rights and interests.
About Author: James is a blogger who has been writing about Law and Workers’ Compensation Act for many years. He is actively followed for explaining different aspects of Workers’ Compensation Act and making it easy for readers to understand this act and its various aspects. As an workers comp attorney he has more than ten years of experience in helping injured workers defend their rights and has been able to get his clients adequate compensation for their injuries.