Frequently Asked Questions about New York Workers Compensation Claims
At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our New York workers compensation attorneys understand how difficult life can become after a workplace accident. Workplace accidents injure and kill thousands of workers every year across New York. Your recovery can be difficult, but getting justice and peace of mind should not have to be. Chances are you have more questions than answers. If you're looking for information about workers compensation and what to do after a workplace accident in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland or anywhere else in New York, please click on the following links to find answers to frequently asked questions. If you don't see your question listed, contact our office today at (800) 692-3717.
- What is workers’ compensation?
- How do I file a workers compensation claim in New York?
- How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in New York?
- How do I know if my injury, illness or occupational disease is covered under workers compensation law?
- How are my weekly cash benefits determined?
- Does workers compensation cover medical bills and prescriptions?
- When is it necessary to retain a workers compensation attorney?
- What should I do when an insurance carrier requests a medical examination?
- How do I deal with a contested workers compensation claim?
- Can I appeal a New York Workers' Compensation Board decision?
- What are the most common work injuries?
- Why should I hire Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP to handle my workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance coverage that nearly all New York employers are required to have. It pays for the full cost of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for a work injury, plus partial replacement of your lost wages if you are unable to work and certain other benefits for permanent or fatal injuries. If you’re hurt on the job, you should get workers’ comp, regardless of fault for the injury.
Workers injured on the job should immediately notify their employer or supervisor. Your employer will then report the injury or illness to the state's Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the company's workers compensation insurance carrier. By law, injured workers are required to file Form C-3 (Employee's Claim for Compensation) with the Board within two years from the date of the accident or from the date the medical condition was discovered to cause an occupational disease.
In New York, you generally have 30 days from the date of the accident to report a work injury to your employer, and two years to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, it’s in your interest to act quickly, as it takes time to build a strong case, and other deadlines can apply in some circumstances. Only an attorney can advise you of the specific time limits that apply to your situation.
For a disability to be covered under New York workers' compensation law, it must be proven that the injury, illness or occupational disease is causally related to an accidental injury sustained while at work.
How are my weekly cash benefits determined?
Typically, the weekly cash benefit for disabled workers is computed by taking two-thirds of the worker's average weekly salary in the year prior to the accident. Weekly cash benefits cannot exceed the legal maximum in effect on the date of the injury.
Does workers' compensation cover medical bills and prescriptions?
Workers compensation insurance covers medical care even if there has been no lost time at work. In the event that an injured worker is prescribed a medication for a work-related injury, the claimant should send a receipted bill and letter from their doctor to the insurance carrier stating why the prescription is necessary.
When is it necessary to retain a workers' compensation attorney?
You do not have to hire a workers compensation attorney to file for benefits and may not need one for a minor matter. However, you should always consult with a lawyer if the injury at work is serious. We provide free consultations and only get paid if you win. Another reason to consider retaining an attorney is if the case is complicated. In many cases, injured workers have to fight the insurance company for medical treatment and compensation. Injured or disabled workers may see better results with the help of an attorney when presenting evidence before a Workers Compensation Law Judge. Remember, the insurance company will be represented by an attorney at the hearing. You can level the playing field by retaining an experienced workers compensation lawyer in New York. Contact us today.
What should I do when an insurance carrier requests a medical examination?
Employers and their insurance carriers have the legal right to have an injured worker examined by a physician of their choosing. This is called an Independent Medical Examination (IME), although, in practice, the doctors are anything but “independent.” Instead, they are chosen by the insurance company and bring a certain amount of bias.
However, you do have rights in this situation: the insurance company has to give you a reasonable amount of notice and hold the examination at a reasonably convenient location, and you are allowed to bring a witness or have the medical exam audio or video recorded. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the independent medical exam and protect your rights.
How do I deal with a contested workers' compensation claim?
An insurance carrier that wants to contest a claim will file Form C-7 (Notice That Right to Compensation is Controverted) with the state Workers' Compensation Board. This form must be filed within 18 days after the disability begins or within 10 days of learning of the accident, whichever is greater. If your claim is being contested, it's wise to retain an attorney who can help you through this process. A Workers Compensation Law Judge will listen to both parties at a pre-hearing conference or a hearing to resolve the disputed claim.
Can I appeal a New York Workers' Compensation Board decision?
If you disagree with a decision made by a workers’ compensation judge, you can appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board, where it will initially be reviewed by a panel of three Board members. If you get an adverse decision from the three-member panel, you can appeal that decision to the Full Board. You can appeal the Board’s decision to the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. You can further appeal the Appellate Division’s decision to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, although appeals at this level are rarely considered. The insurance company can also appeal the Board’s decision to the courts if they disagree.
If your case gets to this point and you don’t have a workers’ compensation lawyer yet, you absolutely need to contact us. Appeals are highly complex and nuanced legal matters, and you don’t want to go through the process alone. We know how to pursue all legal options to advocate for our clients.
We represent New York workers with all types of work injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Sprains and strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Hearing and vision loss
At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, we’re not intimidated by insurance adjusters. We know how to get them to take your work injuries seriously, even if your work injury caused a flare-up of a preexisting injury or condition. Our New York workers compensation attorneys can help you properly document every detail of your work injury or aggravation of old pain, from recording specific tasks and times to photographing your work station. Such evidence can be invaluable at a workers compensation hearing and can make or break your case. Call the New York Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today toll-free at (800) 692-3717 or contact us online for a free evaluation.