In most cases, when you are injured on the job, your primary (or only) option for help with your medical expenses and lost wages is to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. They make it sound like filing a claim is a simple matter of filling out some paperwork. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Not only is the process itself complicated, but there are many ways in which your claim for benefits can be challenged or denied. When this happens, you may still be able to get benefits, but you will have to fight for them within the workers’ compensation system. Attorney Peter Cordovano has decades of experience resolving difficult claims in the New York workers’ compensation system, and the law office of Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. in Highland can help you too.
Below is a brief overview of what to do when you are injured on the job and the process for receiving workers’ compensation in New York State:
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, or within 48 hours of the accident. Your doctor should complete a preliminary medical report and send it to the WCB District Office, with copies to your employer or the company’s workers’ comp insurer, and to you and your attorney.
Notify your supervisor about the accident.
Report the incident in writing to your employer within 30 days.
Your employer should report your injury to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the workers’ comp insurance carrier within ten days of receiving your report about the accident.
You should receive a written statement of your rights under the law from your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. This statement may tell you if you have to see certain doctors regarding your claim. If you don’t receive anything from the insurance company within a few weeks, contact them directly to make sure they got the report from your employer, or ask your attorney for help.
File a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. A claim is initiated by filing Employee Claim form (C-3) with the District Office that serves your area. You have up to two years to file a claim, but of course the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can start receiving benefits.
If your claim is denied, you can have the case heard by a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge. At this hearing, you can present evidence and testimony to support your case. Your attorney can represent you at this hearing. The judge will decide if the claim is compensable and if so, how much should be awarded and for how long.
If you disagree with the Workers’ Compensation Law Judge, you have 30 days to appeal in writing for Board review by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). If your appeal is granted, a panel of three judges will hear your appeal. The panel may affirm the decision of the Law Judge, or they may modify or rescind the judge’s decision, or send the case back to the judge for further proceedings.
If the panel was divided, you may apply for a full Board Review. The full WCB can affirm, modify or rescind the lower decision.
If you disagree with the WCB decision, you have 30 days to appeal to the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department. The decision of the Appellate Division can further be appealed to the New York Court of Appeals. The grounds for appeal in the courts are limited and may not be available in every case.
Peter Cordovano is an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney who can help you at any level of administrative hearing or appeal before the WCB or New York courts. If you were injured on the job in the mid-Hudson Valley region, contact the law office of Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. in Highland for a free consultation or for immediate assistance with your workers’ compensation claim.