The workers compensation process can seem Byzantine to the uninitiated. The rules and regulations vary by state and can be difficult to navigate.
In New York State, hearings before the New York Workers’ Compensation Board are a cornerstone of the process. However, few people are aware of how hearings work; a surprising fact considering the tremendous impact they have on the outcome of the claim.
Here’s why workers’ comp hearings exist and what they involve.
Injuries are evaluated and claims are appealed
The Board may request that you attend a hearing so they can determine the nature of your injuries.
If you believe your claim was undervalued, or your claim was denied, you can request a hearing to appeal the decision. At the hearing, you will provide evidence that your claim is worth more than the value it was ascribed by the insurance company. You will present additional evidence proving the true value of your claim, which may include the testimony of an expert witness such as a physician.
If you disagree with the judge’s ruling, you can then appeal again to have your claim reviewed by an addition judicial body.
Having representation during a workers’ compensation hearing is critical as the insurance company will almost always be represented by legal counsel. The relevant law is complex and difficult to interpret for anyone besides an experienced professional.
A workers’ compensation lawyer knows what evidence the Board needs to see and how that evidence should be presented.
If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out of pocket cost to the client.