What Accident? What Injury?
Contesting the Validity and Reporting of Workplace Injuries
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must report an accident or injury as soon as possible after it happens. Employers are naturally suspicious when a claim is filed days or weeks after the alleged event.
The Albany, New York firm of Walsh and Hacker represents insurers, employers and third-party administrators in Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley. Our experienced defense attorneys have successfully defeated claims with the “No Accident” defense.
The No Accident Defense
A warehouse worker stands up from the lunch table and suddenly collapses or doubles over in pain. After seeking medical treatment, the employee informs his supervisor he is filing a claim for work-related disability. He says “I hurt my back three days ago when I was lifting stuff in the loading bay.”
There are actually two elements of the “no accident” defense:
- No work-related incident occurred – We solicit testimony of medical experts and lay witnesses, and cross-examine the claimant to disprove the story. Can any co-workers corroborate the claim? Did the employee injure himself playing sports or moving furniture at home? Does an independent medical examiner find the injury consistent with the worker’s version of events? Is there a pre-existing condition or prior disability claim for a similar injury?
- There is no qualifying injury – The claim fails to meet the definition under New York law. The NYS Workers Compensation Board requires proof of Accident, Notice and Causal Relationship (ANCR). Were there witnesses to the alleged incident? How long after the fact was it reported to the employer? Why was no report made at the time? Can the employee establish a medical connection between the incident and the injury?
Aggressive, Experienced Representation
Walsh and Hacker has practiced in workers’ compensation defense for 40 years. Our lawyers have a network of medical experts who can address specific types of disability claims. We have commonly used private investigators to show supposedly disabled workers engaged in normal – even strenuous – activities while on disability leave.
Contact our Albany office for an explanation of the No Accident defense and other strategies for fighting claims.
The Albany, New York workers’ compensation defense firm of Walsh and Hacker represents employers and third-party administrators in the Capital District, Upstate and the Hudson Valley, including Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Greene, Columbia, Albany, Saratoga, Westchester, Rockland and Warren Counties. We handle hearings in Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Utica, Schenectady, Albany (Menands), Hudson, Norwich, Poughkeepsie, and New Windsor (Newburgh). Call us about representation in other districts of New York