Workers' Compensation Appeals
According to the National Safety Council, statistically speaking, a worker is injured on the job about every seven seconds. Some of these injuries are minor, some are fatal, and most are somewhere in between. Over 100 million production days are lost annually due to work-related injuries, with harm caused by overexertion, contact with objects or equipment, and slips, trips, and falls being the types of workplace injury events that result in the most lost time from work. Regardless of the cause of a work accident resulting in injury or illness, the employer is obligated to provider workers’ compensation benefits to the employee in most instances. Our Rockland County workers’ compensation attorneys handle a considerable number of work injury cases each year, many all the way through the appellate process.Workers’ Compensation Appeals in New York
When discussing a workers’ compensation appeal, it should be noted that the term “appeal” can have a couple of different meanings. First of all, an injured worker whose claim has been denied by his or her employer or its insurance company has a right to seek assistance from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. While this is not technically an “appeal” in the legal sense, it is not uncommon for the term to be used in this context – that is, to assert one’s rights following an unfavorable decision by an employer or insurance company regarding workers’ compensation benefits.How a Traditional Appeal Works
More traditionally, an “appeal” means asking a reviewing court or higher tribunal to alter the decision of a trial court or, in the case of a workers’ compensation case, to change the outcome of an order from an administrative law judge. In some situations, an employer may deny that the employee is entitled to any benefits at all, while in other instances the employer may only seek to limit the employee’s benefits in some manner while acknowledging that there was a compensable accident that occurred in the course and scope of the worker’s employment. Either way, the employee will need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Once a dispute arises as to benefits, the Board may be called upon to make a decision. This may initially be done by a claims examiner or conciliator, but a hearing in front of a workers’ compensation administrative law judge will eventually be held if the disagreement persists.
If either party is dissatisfied with the administrative law judge’s decision, the matter may be appealed to a “panel,” which usually consists of three Board members. That decision, too, is appealable, with the next level being consideration by the full membership of the Board. From there, the parties may take a further appeal to the Appellate Division, Third Department, of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Such an appeal takes the matter out of the consideration of the Board and into the regular appellate court system. While some cases decided by state court judges can be appealed into the federal court system, potentially including the United States Supreme Court, it is extremely rare for a workers’ compensation case to find its way into federal court because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, which does not typically include workers’ compensation cases.Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Rockland County
Whatever stage of a workers’ compensation dispute you are currently in, you have the legal right to consult a lawyer and, if you desire, be represented by counsel of your choosing in any proceedings, including those of an appellate nature. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., will be glad to talk to you about your case if you have been hurt at work and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim or appeal against your employer or its insurance carrier. Call us at 845-708-5900, contact Valerie 24/7 on her cell phone at 845-598-8253, or use our online form to schedule an appointment. We are available to handle workers’ compensation cases throughout the Rockland County and Greater New York area, as well as Ulster, Orange, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties.