The workers’ compensation system in Pennsylvania is intended to protect our Commonwealth’s working individuals when they incur a work-injury by providing benefits in a timely fashion. Each workers’ compensation case, like any legal matter, requires that a particular party bear the burden of proof.
Every initial claim for benefits, as well as any claim for the reinstatement of benefits after wage loss benefits have been modified, suspended or terminated places the burden of proof on the claimant or injured worker. Thus, the burden of proof to establish the right to wage loss and medical benefits is always on the injured worker and never shifts to the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
In Pennsylvania, the claimant bears the burden of establishing his right to compensation, as well as proving the existence of a disability and a causal connection between such disability and the workplace injury. The claimant also carries the burden demonstrating that the workplace injury continues to cause a disability.
Thus, while the claimant bears the primary burden going forward with a Claims Petition or Reinstatement Petition, the burden of proof is on the employer whenever a Modification, Suspension, or Termination Petition is filed. Typically, a claimant files a Claims Petition and bears the initial burden of proof. If benefits are granted and later the employer files a petition to modify, suspend, or terminate benefits, the employer bears the burden of proof to change or alter benefits. Once benefits are modified, suspended or terminated, the claimant has the burden of proof for any petition he files to reinstate benefits.
Since James Powell, Sr., founded Powell Law, our attorneys have represented all types of workers in workers’ compensation cases for 113 years since 1906. 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!