Guiding Employers Through The Workers’ Compensation Process
The law firm of Walsh and Hacker provides comprehensive counsel and representation for the employer side of workers’ compensation claims. We serve clients through every step of the process, from review of initial claims through appeals of adverse rulings.
Our clients are businesses and municipalities and their insurers or third-party administrators (TPAs). Our established practice serves clients throughout New York State. Call us toll-free at (518) 463-1269 to arrange a consultation. We explain your rights and assess your case so that you can make informed decisions.
Understanding The Process
When a worker is injured on the job (or develops a work-related illness), he or she is entitled to seek medical treatment. The employee is obligated to inform a supervisor about the accident as soon as possible.
To seek workers’ compensation, the employee must notify the employer, in writing, and file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). The health provider (i.e., medical doctor or chiropractor) must file reports with the WCB and progress reports thereafter. The employer files a report of the injury with the WCB and the insurance carrier.
The employer (insurer) can controvert a claim by filing a formal challenge with the WCB. An Administrative Law Judge who handles only workers’ compensation claims will review medical reports, hear testimony from both sides and determine whether the worker is entitled to benefits.
The insurer has 30 days to appeal the Judge’s ruling to a three-member panel of the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Review Bureau can affirm the Law Judge’s decision, modify the decision, rescind the decision and/or send it back to trial Judge for further development of the record. (If the Board Panel is not unanimous, either party can ask for a review by the Full Workers’ Compensation Board.)
An employer (insurer) can appeal an unfavorable Review Bureau ruling to the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. That tribunal’s decision can be appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
Taking A Strategic Approach To Protect Your Interests
Appealing an adverse finding can get expensive, and the odds of defeating a disability claim diminish at each level of the workers’ compensation claims process. On the other hand, a claim for total disability, permanent partial disability or work-related death means exposure to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Walsh and Hacker‘s experienced trial and appellate lawyers always advise clients on the merits of striving for victory versus the tempered losses of a negotiated settlement. We have a very strong record in hearings before the Administrative Law Judge and the Workers’ Compensation Board, and we are also effective negotiators who can mitigate the employer’s/insurer’s exposure.
Unsure About Your Options? Talk To Us.
For a full explanation of the process and your rights in defending against a workers’ compensation claim, contact our office today.