When an Employer or Insurance Company violates the provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, an injured worker may file a Penalty Petition seeking a "penalty" of up to 50% of the compensation that is owed and payable to the Claimant. The award of penalties is solely within the discretion of the Workers' Compensation Judge. Not every violation will result in a significant penalty being awarded, but the ability to file for penalties does provide a Claimant with recourse in the event of violations of the Act.
Examples of violations of the Act that have resulted in penalties being awarded:
- When an Insurance Company fails to make payment within 30 days of when the obligation to pay wage loss benefits, or a settlement arises;
- When an Insurance Company unilaterally stops paying benefits;
- When the Insurance Company fails to properly investigate a claim;
- When an Insurance Company or Employer fails to pay compensation when owed and payable to an injured worker;
- When the Insurance Company or Employer fails to notify the injured worker, within 21 days, that the claim is being denied;
- When an Employer stops paying medical expenses and fails to file an appropriate petition.
The above list is only a small sample of the possible scenarios that may violate the Act and lead to the imposition of penalties against a defendant in a workers' compensation case.
If you or a loved one believe that a violation of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act has occurred with your case, or you need a Penalty Petition filed – contact Norfleet and Lafferty to speak with our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers today. Our Central Pennsylvania workers compensation attorneys in Harrisburg, York and Lemoyne will answer all of your questions and lead you through the complex workers’ compensation process. Call (717) 737-7574 or fill out our case evaluation form.