Every employee deserves safe conditions in the workplace. Sadly, job-related accidents remain a major problem in New York. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 139,000 workplace injuries and illnesses reported in the state in 2016 alone. Under New York law, most injured workers are entitled to ‘no-fault’ workers’ compensation benefits.
That being said, obtaining workers’ compensation sometimes proves to be challenging. If you are struggling to get your full and fair benefits, you need to know how to protect your rights. In this article, our New York City workers’ compensation attorneys provide an overview of the process of filing a workers’ comp claim, and, if necessary, appealing a denial.
You Must Notify Your Employer and File a Claim
First and foremost, injured employees have a legal responsibility to report workplace accidents to their supervisor. To ensure that your injuries are properly recorded, you should submit a written notice to your employer within 30 days. From there, you should submit the New York Employee Claim Form (Form C-3). If you have questions about completing this form, contact a lawyer for help.
Initial Appeal: Workers’ Compensation Board Panel Hearing
Ideally, your workers’ comp benefits will be paid relatively shortly after you submit your claim. However, if that does not occur, you need to be ready to file an appeal. As explained by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, your initial workers’ comp appeal will be heard by a panel of three administrative judges. This is often referred to as a ‘board panel hearing’. If your claim was denied, call a lawyer immediately. Your New York workers’ comp lawyer will make sure that your appeal is submitted in time.
Escalate the Appeal: Request a Full Board Review
If your claim for benefits was not approved by the panel of judges, you will then have the right to request a full board review of your claim. This is the final stage of the administrative appeals process. To be clear, the board may not grant your claim for a full review — they retain the discretion to refuse to hear cases. Still, you must file for a full review to be eligible to move forward in the appeals process. It is a required step.
Take Your Workers’ Comp Appeal to Court
In some cases, injured workers will be forced to take their case to court to get the full and fair benefits that they deserve. If your administrative appeal was denied, you have the right to bring your claim to the Appellate Division. While most workers’ comp appeals are either settled or resolved at the administrative level, there are some appeals that make it all the way to state court.
Get Help From Our New York Workers’ Comp Attorneys Today
At The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., our New York City workers’ compensation lawyers are standing by, ready to protect your rights. If your workers’ comp claim was denied, you need professional representation. For a free, no obligation review of your workers’ comp claim, please contact our law firm right away. We have permanent law offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx, and mobile offices that travel throughout the greater New York metropolitan area.