FOR INJURED WORKERS
April 3, 2009
Dear Injured Workers, Families, and Employers,
Thank you for visiting this web site.
While I appreciate any questions or concerns that you may have about your cases, existing or potential, I am not able to give you any specific answers, for two reasons.
First, the purpose of this web site is to discuss the Workers Compensation Board policies and practices, and to discuss methods of making the system faster but also fairer to all the parties concerned. In addition to my book, Behind The Closed Doors - An insider's look at how things really work at the NYS Workers Compensation Board and how to fix them, you can get a lot of information from three articles published in the New York Times on March 31, April 1, and April 2, 2009. (The links are at the bottom of this page.)
These are the firms you should seek out to answer any specific questions that you may have. Many of them have web sites which allow you to contact them with whatever details of your case/claim you wish to submit and they will arrange for a confidential interview, in person or by telephone. There is no charge for this consultation. Every case is different no matter how similar they may look to the untrained eye. You certainly would not want your doctor to diagnose and treat you for the flu using someone else's medical records. Just as your doctor needs your medical history, so does your attorney need your history regarding your claim.
I have posted some links on the bottom of this page at which you can get the names of both attorneys and licensed representatives¹, as well as the names of other sites that should be of interest to you. These include some sites (blogs) that allow you to post general questions to be answered by either attorneys or knowledgeable members of the community and some medical sites for those of you with specific medical problems as well as sites with legal information. I will answer any questions you have that deal "Why" and to help you understand the policies and practices of the Board, but, to repeat, I will not give you specific legal advice. If you can think of any sites which should be added, please contact me at TheInsider@InsideWorkersCompNY.com
But you are welcome to keep visiting this web site, vote in our polls in the Opinions & Reports page, and buy the book Behind The Closed Doors as these may give you a better understanding of how the claims and adjudication process works, what can be done to make it better, and with support from you, your attorneys, and your legislators, we can help the Board better serve you.
New York Times articles:
March 31, 2009 "For Injured Workers, a Costly Legal Swamp"
¹ A Licensed Representative (Lic Rep) is an individual who, after passing a very difficult exam administered by the Workers Comp Board, has been authorized to represent injured workers at the Board. Many work for law firms and a good majority of the active ones know as much about workers comp law as do lawyers who special in it. And Lic Reps will serve you in a workers comp case far better than a general practice attorney who is unfamiliar with the intricacies of the WC system.
April 1, 2009 "Exams of Injured Workers Fuel Mutual Mistrust"
April 2, 2009 "System to Resolve Workplace Injury Leaves Ill Will on All Sides"
- The list of Comp Board approved Licensed Reps. There is no equivalent list of attorneys published by the Board.
- The Injured Workers Alliance: membership is made up of some excellent claimant-oriented attorneys
- The Board's Medical Guidelines for defining disability: May have a new cover but its still the original 1996 edition.
- The Boards' Treatment Guidelines (not formally adopted as of April 2009)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): an independent web site, run by those with CRPS
- Blogs for Injured Workers
- Behind The Closed Doors - my book
- Workers Compensation Law(WKC) This link will take you to a page with all of NYS laws. Just scroll down to the sections for Workers Comp as well as the addenda dealing with Volunteer Ambulance Workers' Benefits VAW) and Volunteer Firefighters' Benefits (VOL).