Close

What Happens If a Work Comp Judge Decides Against Me? Can I Appeal?

If you lose a case before a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Judge, you have a right to appeal within 20 days of the date of the decision. (20 calendar days, not business days) The appeal is heard by the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB).  The Board is primarly an appellate body review Judge’s decisions on legal issues, but sometimes has original jurisdiction. The Board consists of at least three, but a max of 15 members appointed by the governor.

Procedurally, once the appeal is filed, an oral argument is scheduled. The moving party is to submit its Brief at the hearing, and usually extra time is permitted for the responding party, to submit its Brief. Then the parties submit their Briefs and await a decision, which can take 6 to 12 months approximately.

There are various bases on which to file an appeal to the WCAB.  You can assert that the decision is not in conformity with the terms of the Pennsylvania Work Comp Act.  Another basis is tha the WCJ committed an error of law. You can argue that the findings of fact are not supported by sufficient, competent evidence. Another avenue is asserting that the findings of fact or decision was procured by coercion, fraud, or the improper conduct of a party. A rather common basis to appeal is alleging that the Decision is not a “reasoned decision” which provides for meaningful appellate review.

The Scope of Review of the WCAB is the same as the Commonwealth Court (the Court above the WCAB)- the WCAB can look into whether any conclusions are errors of law or whether the findings support legal conclusions. The WCAB can also determine if the reasoned decision standard was met.

Practically speaking, it is quite difficult to get the WCAB to overturn a Decision. If there are facts which support the conclusions, the decisions tend to be affirmed. Many claimants believe that if there are also facts that support his or his case, that the WCAB will reverse the decision. This is not true. If there is sufficient, competent evidence supporting the findings, even if there is some evidence supporting the claimant’s case, the decisions will be affirmed. The WCAB is bound by the credibility determinations made by the WCJ (Judge).  Unless there is an abuse of discretion, those determinations won’t be overturned by the WCAB. What is more common is a remand-which means the WCAB sends the case back to the WCJ to re-issue the decision, commenting on evidence that may not have been considered or weighed properly.

This is not to say that appeals are a waste of time. Indeed, some appeals are successful and end up changing the law via the Commonwealth Court or Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And, sometimes, the mere filing of an appeal can help settle a case. Each case must be evaluated on its own merit.

If you would like more information about Workers’ Compensation, call or email us 7 days a week at (215) 206-9068 or Michael@CardamoneLaw.com

 

 

 

 

Awards & Recognitions

Pennsylvania Workmans Comp Attorney
Philadelphia Workmans Comp Lawyer

Cardamone Law Has Negotiated Some of the Largest Workers’ Comp Settlements in Pennsylvania

$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
& Hundreds More Cases
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
& Hundreds More Cases

Client Testimonials

"Best Law Firm around!"

"Cardomone law is absolutely fantastic! They are very responsive and helpful and they will fight to get you what you deserve. Shirley is also very helpful whenever you have any questions! Best Law Firm around!"

- C. Edwards
Google Reviews
"Michael and Shirley are very dedicated...and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case"

"Cardamone Law Firm were very helpful to me since day one. Michael and Shirley are very dedicated to my case giving me updates, answering my questions, being honest with my case, and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case. Thank you so much for your service and dedication and helping me to achieve not only your case but to guide and refer me in other needs too! You guys are the best law firm friendly and dedicated. I will recommend to anyone."

- A. Ortiz
Google Reviews
"Michael won my workers comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim."

"Exceptional firm. Highly recommend this law firm. Michael won my Workers Comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim. Him and his staff were always at my reach for legal and emotional support. Am so happy I hire them. Thanks Michael and Ms. Shirley."

- Carlos P.
Google Reviews
"[They] did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time."

"I recently had a work related injury and was receiving Workers' Compensation (medical benefits only). Soon after I was fired, so I contacted Paul Silver at Cardamone Law Firm who did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time. Paul and his assistant Shirley always responded to any questions I had about the case in a very short amount of time. Thank you for helping me with this difficult case."

- Robin C.
Google Reviews
"Highly recommend."

"Cardamone Law was great with helping my husband with his Workers Comp issues. Mike and Shirley were the best with letting us know what was going on every step of the way. Highly recommend."

- Danielle P.
Google Reviews
"Mike Cardamone is amazing"

"Mike Cardamone is amazing. He is "hands down" one of the best lawyers I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He is very kind, understanding, knowledgeable in his field, always very thorough and helpful. He was extremely professional and someone who truly cares about his clients. I felt completely at ease with him. He was a pleasure to work with, explained everything in detail, as well as answered all my questions with knowledge and care. If you want someone you can trust, who communicates every step of the way, will fight for you and make sure you win your case, he is it! I will refer all my family and friends to him. Thank you so much Mike, for everything. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in helping me."

- Allie M.
Google Reviews
Without a doubt YOU are the best!!!

"Without a doubt YOU are the best!!! Every person who is in the horrible position of being injured at work should have someone as kind, compassionate and knowledgeable as you on their side. You never once made me feel like I was one of a hundred other clients. I always knew you had my back! You answered calls and emails at all hours. You fought every fight for me so I only had to worry about getting well. Behind your nice, calm face there’s a pit bull ready to take on any employer or judge. I can never thank you enough."

- L. Edall
Google Reviews
"Best Workers' Comp Lawyer!"

"Michael is simply the best! He was there for me from day 1 till the end, and we won the case!! He is always available to help. I had a gazillion questions and he would answer them one by one. He's a great lawyer and I feel lucky to have found him online from reading other outstanding reviews about him. Believe me, they're true!"

- Faith B.
Google Reviews
"Great Attorney"

"Great attorney, handled case quickly and efficiently. I would recommend him and would use him again. He was always available to answer any questions we had. Thank you, Mr. Cardamone."

- H. Anderson
Google Reviews