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What To Expect During a Workers’ Compensation Hearing in New York

What To Expect During a Workers' Compensation Hearing in New York

According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, applicants file more than 160,000 workers’ compensation claims in the Empire State each year. This board oversees New York-based employers to ensure they provide their employees with adequate workers’ compensation coverage. It is also responsible for deciding whether to approve or deny workers’ compensation claims in the state.

Were you injured while on the job recently? If so, you might be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. You might also need to attend a workers’ compensation hearing in New York as part of the application process.

Let’s go over the some of steps you’ll navigate during your workers’ comp hearing process.

Determining When and Where a Workers’ Compensation Hearing Will Be

When you file for workers’ compensation benefits in New York, there is a chance that you might not need to attend a hearing. In this case, your employer’s insurance company might simply approve your workers’ comp claim without a dispute about why your situation warrants it. If there are disputes, you’ll need to begin your workers’ comp hearing preparation. 

A hearing is one possibility, as the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board also offers a few other dispute resolution options. If the Board plans to hold a hearing to work out the issues that exist between you and the workers’ comp insurance company that acts on behalf of your employer, it will notify you as to when and where it will take place. For example, the hearing might happen at a district office of the Workers’ Compensation Board in New York currently, hearings take place via telephone or virtual computer based participation.

Preparing For a Workers’ Compensation Hearing

Initially, you might not love the sound of attending a workers’ compensation hearing, especially if you’re in the early stages of recovering from a workplace-related injury. However, legal advisors would encourage you to try and look at it as an opportunity to argue your case, which might increase your chances of a judge approving your claim or even increasing your benefits.

So, how can you adequately prepare yourself and your evidence ahead of your workers’ comp hearing?

  • Collect all the medical records pertaining to your workplace accident.
  • Gather witness statements from those who saw your accident occur.
  • Put together any other evidence that adds credibility to your case.

You might consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in New York to analyze your claim and will advocate on your behalf.

Selecting the Right Workers’ Compensation Attorney in New York

If you decide to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York, don’t just plug in “workers’ compensation attorney New York” in your computer search and hope things will work out. Why not research each option that appears in order to select a local workers’ compensation lawyer with the necessary credentials and experience for your unique situation?

Depending on your case, you will want the attorney you hire to have a wealth of experience within the world of workers’ compensation. A warm, pleasant demeanor also goes a long way since you’ll spend a good chunk of time working with them before and during a hearing.

Testifying During a Workers’ Compensation Hearing

Once a workers’ compensation hearing begins, expect the following:

You may have to provide testimony in front of a judge. You can use this portion of the hearing to explain what happened during your workplace accident and break down your different injuries. You can also lay out how these injuries have affected your ability to work.

During these proceedings, you’ll want to pay close attention to the questions your attorney, other attorneys, and the judge ask you. Tell the truth – dishonesty could lead to the judge denying your claim, or worse.

Listening To Testimony From Others During a Workers’ Compensation Hearing

Often, you will not be the only person testifying at your workers’ compensation case in New York. Others you might hear from include:

  • Your employer.
  • Your employer’s insurance company attorney.
  • Witnesses to your workplace accident.

Before the judge makes their decision, plan to sit patiently while you hear others testify regarding your cliam. Outbursts are not helpful to your case. Plus, your workers’ comp judge won’t deliver a ruling until everyone has had a chance to speak.

Allowing a Workers’ Compensation Judge To Analyze the Evidence

Much of your workers’ compensation hearing will consist of testimony about your workplace accident, its effects on your health, and your subsequent ability to work. A workers’ compensation judge may also carve out time to evaluate any evidence you supply, such as your medical records or accident reports relating to you sustaining injuries. 

It is important for you to submit any and all evidence that you can in advance of your hearing. That’s why it can be helpful to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in New York, who will ensure submit all of the important evidence in advance of your hearing. Your attorney can also suggest different types of evidence you may not have considered bringing on your own.

Receiving a Workers’ Compensation Hearing Outcome

At the end of your workers’ compensation hearing process, the judge will hand down a ruling based on all the evidence that has been presented. If they decide you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, they’ll reveal how much and how long you can expect to receive benefits.

If a judge does not think workers’ compensation is warranted in your case, they will deny the claim and shed at least a little light on why. You maintain the right to appeal a judge’s ruling following a workers’ comp hearing outcome.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Appeal

What Does New York Workers' Compensation Cover

If a judge denies your request for workers’ compensation by the conclusion of your hearing or claim, take a breath and consider your other options. For example, The Workers’ Compensation Board has an Appeals Board that can review the decision before letting you know if they agree with the judge’s initial assessment or not. 

You’ll want to speak with your workers’ compensation lawyer in New York about appealing the judge’s ruling so that you follow the correct procedure. A lawyer can evaluate your case from every angle, which may improve your chances of winning your appeal.

Reach Out to Us for Assistance With Your Workers’ Compensation Hearing in New York

Attending a workers’ compensation hearing in New York without a lawyer can put you in a difficult spot or reduce your case’s impact in qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits.

Why not enlist Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani’s reputable workers’ compensation team of attorneys and staff in New York? Our team can show you how to navigate the workers’ compensation system in New York and recover maximum benefits. Contact (718) 626-7730 for more information.


Our workers’ compensation team in New York hears a lot of questions from concerned workers about their rights. Here are a few common ones about New York Workers’ Compensation hearings.

How Long Does a Workers’ Compensation Hearing in New York Take?

A workers’ compensation hearing in New York may take anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours. Expect  complicated claims to take several days to play out.

What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied at the End of My Workers’ Compensation Hearing Process in New York?

If your claim is denied at the end of your workers’ compensation hearing in New York, you have the right to appeal it. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board makes this possible through its Appeals Board.

Do I Need To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in New York?

No, you are not required to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York. However, a lawyer may help you put together a stronger case to help improve your chances of approval during and even after your workers’ compensation hearing.

About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.