Employer’s Termination Petition in a Workers’ Compensation Matter.
By Bill Gregory
When an injured worker is off work receiving workers’ compensation benefits due to the work injury, the injured worker’s employer is allowed, by law, to have the injured worker undergo a medical examination by a physician of the employer’s choosing. Often, the employer’s medical exam can result in a medical opinion by employer’s physician that indicates that the injured worker is no longer injured or does not suffer from the injury that was officially accepted by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. As a result, employers and/or workers’ compensation insurance companies will file a termination petition to stop the injured worker’s benefits.
In a termination petition proceeding before a Workers’ Compensation Judge, the employer is obligated to show through unequivocal medical evidence that the injured worker’s injury or injuries have terminated. If successful before a Workers’ Compensation Judge, the employer will have stopped weekly or biweekly wage loss benefits and payment of the injured worker’s medical bills related to the work injury.
The injured worker who has had a termination petition filed on his/her case should seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to rebut and fight the assertions in the termination petition. Specifically, evidence needs to be presented on the injured workers’ behalf to show that the injury from which the injured worker is suffering is still ongoing. This can be done several different ways, the plan for which can be devised by the injured worker and his/her attorney. Fortunately the law places the burden of proof on the employer, but nevertheless, any injured worker who has a petition filed against him/her should immediately seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney.
At Rankin & Gregory, LLC, we advise that it is never too early in the work injury process to seek the advice of a workers’ compensation lawyer. Many times our early involvement in work injury claims can eliminate the employer’s pursuit of a termination petition. However, these cases are very fact specific and require legal expertise in uncovering the facts and presenting the legal arguments. If you or someone you know is injured at work, call us for a free legal consultation.