How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in NY

paperwork entitled Worker's Compensation Claim Form

All workers have a right to feel safe at their job. Developing an illness or suffering an injury at work may have far-reaching consequences for a worker’s health. It can also severely hinder their ability to earn a living.

Workers’ compensation insurance aims to help employees afford the medical care they need and replace part of the income lost due to missed work time after a workplace injury or occupational illness. However, while these benefits can be a saving grace for many injured employees, filing a workers’ comp claim in NY can create overwhelming challenges.

If you have suffered an injury or developed an illness at work, the New York workers’ compensation claim attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., understand the confusion you may be facing. Our legal team is passionate about standing up for the rights of injured workers. We want to make the filing process as effective and efficient as possible.

Contact us today for a free consultation with a New York workers’ compensation claim lawyer, and let us help you seek the benefits you deserve.

Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NY?

Many workers believe they understand how to file a worker’s compensation claim on their own. While it may be technically possible to do so in some cases, injured employees often encounter unnecessary delays to their benefits due to confusing bureaucracy and red tape. Others discover that their valid claims have been denied on a technicality, or the paid benefits are far less than they deserve. These scenarios can protract and worsen the painful experience of a work-related illness or injury.

When you hire our experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyers, you will work with a licensed professional who knows how to file a New York workers’ compensation claim and fight for the maximum benefits you deserve under the law. Our attorneys can handle every aspect of your claim, putting your mind at ease as you focus on your recovery and the next steps you need to take.

Steps in Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New York

Filing a workers’ compensation claim in New York involves several key steps:

  • Determining whether workers’ compensation benefits are available to you. Job classifications not covered by workers’ compensation include uniformed NYC police officers, sanitation workers, and NYC public school teachers, among others. Workers who are independent contractors are generally not covered. However, many workers are mislabeled as independent contractors when they are actually employees. The law looks at the true employment relationship, not the label. True independent contractors are not paid hourly and are not directed in their day-to-day tasks. They do not have set schedules and are often paid per job or based on specific goals. Even if you have an independent contract, you may not be an independent contractor if you do not meet the requirements under the law.
  • Reporting your injury to your employer immediately. New York requires you to inform your employer within 30 days. There are different rules for occupational diseases, so talk to your lawyer for more information.
  • Getting medical treatment and keeping records of your care. These will serve to demonstrate the cause, nature, and severity of your condition.
  • Filing a C-3 form to open a claim. This form goes to the Workers’ Compensation Board and your employer’s insurance carrier.
  • Attending hearings before a Workers’ Comp Board judge if your claim is disputed. Your attorney will represent you at hearings.
  • Receiving an award determination from the Board detailing the benefits you’ll receive.

Workers’ compensation payments for lost wages (indemnity benefits) typically begin on the eighth day of disability. The first seven days are an unpaid waiting period. However, if the disability lasts more than 14 days, the worker will receive retroactive payment of benefits for the first seven days as well.

Medical benefits are covered as soon as the worker receives treatment related to the work injury or illness. Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys can help expedite the process of securing benefits after a successful claim.

Common Reasons Claims Are Denied or Undervalued

Some common reasons injured workers’ claims are denied or undervalued in NY include the following examples:

  • Failing to promptly report the injury to your employer
  • Having a pre-existing condition that the insurer argues has caused the injury
  • Lacking strong medical evidence supporting your injury and disability
  • Being misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee
  • A dispute over whether the injury occurred within the scope of employment

Ingress and egress or coming into and out of work are often covered even if the accident occurs when you are “on the clock” Commuting is covered for employees who have multiple different work locations during the work day or on any particular day, or for workers who are given tasks on the way to or on the way home for work. For example, if your boss tells you to pick up coffee and donuts on the way in, then a car accident that day would be covered even if you normally would not be.

What Can You Do if Your Claim Is Denied or Undervalued?

Every day, workers across the state receive the frustrating news that their initial workers’ compensation claims have been unsuccessful. If your workers’ comp claim is denied or you are offered unfairly low benefits, do not just accept it. You have options, such as:

  • Filing an appeal and requesting a hearing to contest the denial
  • Presenting additional evidence to support your claim
  • Negotiating a fair settlement amount for your case
  • Taking other legal action if benefits are unreasonably delayed or withheld

While it is a good idea to work with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer throughout the claims process, having legal representation is essential when you are seeking to overturn a denied claim. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand the issues your application needs to overcome to optimize your chances of a successful appeal.

How Our Lawyers Help Injured Workers Maximize Their Benefits from All Sources

The attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., stand ready to pursue every available source of benefits for your injury, such as:

  • Workers’ compensation – For medical treatment, lost wages, permanent disability
  • Labor Law claims – Claims under New York’s Labor Laws, which provide a favorable route to compensation for construction workers under certain circumstances
  • Social Security disability – If your injury prevents you from working long-term
  • Personal injury claims – An opportunity to recover money for pain and suffering, the full extent of lost wages, and other compensation if someone other than your employer or co-worker caused your injury through negligence
  • NY State disability benefits – For short-term wage replacement
  • Any employer-provided benefits – Sick pay and short-term disability insurance, for example
  • Unemployment insurance – If you cannot return to your previous job

When you have suffered an injury in the course of your duties, you deserve all the financial help you can get.

Get Help from Our Workers’ Comp Claim Lawyers in NY

Dealing with the aftermath of an on-the-job illness or injury can be one of the most challenging experiences you face in your life. At this time, choosing the right attorney to help you should be as simple as possible.

The experienced NY workers’ comp lawyers at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., have a proven track record for achieving favorable results for injured workers. Over the last 40 years, our legal team has recovered more than half a billion dollars for our injured clients. We are ready to put our knowledge and skills to work for you, too.

The sooner you contact us, the faster we can get to work pursuing the financial relief you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.