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Frequently Asked Questions about Settling a Workers’ Compensation Claim in New York

Should I Try to Settle My New York Workers’ Compensation Claim?

It’s a common misperception that most people who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits either had their initial petition approved by the workers’ compensation insurer or successfully appealed a denial. The reality is that most workers’ compensation claims in New York are settled—the injured worker frequently agrees to take a lump sum in exchange for waiving the right to receive benefits for a period of time or until capable of returning to work.

Q: When Should I Report My Injury?

A: The sooner you report your injury, the sooner you can potentially start receiving benefits. But there are other good reasons to notify your employer immediately. The more time that elapses between your injury and your notice to your employer, the more risk you have that there will either be some intervening injury—you get hurt at home—that may make it more difficult to determine the actual cause of your inability to work. Furthermore, your employer or the workers’ compensation insurer may see it as evidence that your injury is not as serious as you claim.

Q: Are There Different Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements?

A: New York has two different types of workers’ compensation settlements—Section 32 settlements and stipulation agreements.

With a section 32 settlement, you typically receive a lump sum payment in exchange for your agreement to terminate the workers’ compensation claim. This means that you relinquish all future claims for this injury, including claims for the coverage of medical expenses (though, in very limited circumstances, the workers’ compensation insurance company may agree to pay some future medical expenses).

With a stipulation agreement, you simply agree with the workers’ compensation insurance company on the amount of benefits to which you are entitled and how long you will receive them. Benefits under a stipulation agreement are typically paid on a weekly basis.

Q: Do I Have to Be Treated by a Company Doctor, or Can I Go to My Own Physician?

A: You will be required to submit to an “independent” medical examination, by a doctor chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance company. That doesn’t mean, however, that you must be treated by that doctor or that you cannot seek a second or even third opinion from another medical professional.

Q: What Happens If I Settle My Workers’ Compensation Claim, but I Get Hurt Again?

A: That will depend. If your injury is an aggravation of the prior injury, you probably won’t have any recourse, unless you can show that you healed from the prior injury and this is essentially a new injury. If, however, the injury is completely different, the fact that you settled the  prior claim will have no impact on your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits.

Effective Workers’ Compensation Lawyers—Queens | New York City

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we offer more than 50 year of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers throughout the greater NYC area, including the borough of Queens. We built our reputation on a commitment to the highest levels of personal service and attention, making certain we know the details of your injury, so that we can fully protect your rights. We work closely with colleagues in the legal profession, offering our experience, skills, knowledge and resources to your clients who have been hurt on the job.

We handle all types of work injury cases, including claims involving:

Occupational Illness or Disease | Back and Neck Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury | Hearing or Vision Loss | Accidental Death

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York