The role of the Workers Compensation Judge (WCJ) involves his or her role as the ultimate finder of fact. A WCJ also makes any determinations of credibility. The findings of a WCJ may not be reversed on appeal provided that there is support in the evidentiary record, including an explanation of the WCJ’s underlying reasoning for the decision.
Appellate courts in Pennsylvania may only review whether there has been an error of law, or whether the WCJ made a “reasoned decision.” The latter is a decision that provides enough information for an appellate review.
A WCJ must adequately explain the underlying reasons for any determinations of credibility. Simply stating that an opinion was “not convincing” will not provide enough information for an appellate review, i.e., to determine whether there was a sufficient basis for the finding.
WCJs may also mediate settlements between the parties. A Pennsylvania WCJ, usually not the WCJ that rendered the case’s decision, may oversee and conduct a settlement negotiation. In this situation, a WCJ will assist the parties in reaching some compromise, but may only facilitate it and may not mandate it. You should only rely on an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to tell you whether any settlement is in your best interest.
Since James Powell, Sr., founded Powell Law in 1906, our attorneys have represented all types of workers in workers’ compensation cases. Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for representation in workers’ compensation matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. At Powell Law, we effectively assist clients throughout the entire workers’ compensation claims process. Consult an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE!