Montemaggi Law - Workers Compensation Attorneys


08 Sep 2010

Workers' Compensation Board attempts to reduce hearings may affect your rights. Be careful if you receive forms from the Board.

Posted by Paul J. Antonowicz
The New York State Workers' Compensation Board is currently in the process of attempting to reduce the number of hearings in Workers' Compensation cases. This, in some ways, may not be a bad idea. For instance, there are often issues that have little or no direct impact on claimants or that could be solved without the need for claimants to actually appear before a judge. Also, sometimes there are wasted hearings when all the information needed to resolve an issue is not available or an issue ends up resolving itself before the hearing happens. This causes all the parties unnecessary hassles and expense. Claimants often miss work and incur travel expenses for which there is no reimbursement and insurance companies end up paying attorneys to appear from them without any real reason. So, eliminating hearings where they are not necessary makes sense. However, hearings are often necessary to protect your rights. Frequently, the Workers' Compensation Board jumps the gun on making decisions without a hearing or chooses issues that just can't be resolved without a judge's input or decision. The Board is supposed to send out notices to claimants and their attorneys when they have one. It is extremely important that you call us if you receive any type of notice from the Workers' Compensation Board that indicates some action is being taken or needs to be taken or that you do not understand. Sometimes the Board could miss the fact that you have an attorney and send out the wrong form. Or the reverse might happen and you could receive a form meant for represented claimants when you do not yet have an attorney. If you receive such a form, please contact us immediately. If we represent you, call us and not the Board or insurance company. If you do not have an attorney call us to see if one could help in your case. Despite what may be the best intentions, Board employees frequently give out incomplete and, sometimes, incorrect information.