FAQ: Can I participate in my workers compensation defense, even if I hire a lawyer?

Yes, of course, you can participate in the defense of a claim filed against you or your business! You might get a different idea from the Workers’ Compensation Board, which chooses not to send you Notices of Hearing once it feels you aren’t necessary for the proceedings anymore, but you are entitled to know what is going on in cases filed against you. Do not let anyone at the Board or your workers’ compensation (“WC”) insurance carrier tell you otherwise. In fact, I find that I often resolve more quickly the cases in which my employer-clients are involved. You know your employees and your work environment far better than we do, and if you don’t fill in the gaps between a Judge’s or attorney’s knowledge, guess who does:

  • Your injured worker who has gotten comfortable being paid while staying home (even if it is a little less money)
  • The injured worker’s co-worker, friend, friend-of-a-friend, neighbor, union representative, etc.
  • The judge’s imagination
  • The attorneys’ assumptions or guesses

As I often tell employers that I teach about WC, you are often my best investigator.

NOTE: This post is a general overview of defending a workers compensation claim. It is not legal advice, and there is certainly no guarantee that any of the actions detailed above will generate a similar or specific result. Past success is never a guarantee of a future outcome. If you require information or advice applied to your unique situation, please contact an attorney.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal and EEOC training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Best for NYC 2015 finalist), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (2013 Pitch Competition finalist). Most recently, she was invited to serve as ICERM Representative to the United Nations and will attain her certificate in Ethno-Religious Conflict Mediation in March 2017.