Below are some questions that we are frequently asked..

Joe Baugh works for his clients on a contingency basis. There is no charge for a consultation and no hourly fees. We are only paid when monies are awarded to the claimant and it is a separate check cut by the insurance carrier/self-insured employer. Our law firm only receives payment if we obtain benefits for the injured worker.

You should talk to a Workers Compensation attorney as soon as possible following a work place injury. The prompt guidance of an attorney specifically experienced with Workers Comp can mean all the difference in your case.

It costs you nothing to meet with an attorney for a consultation. An experienced Workers Comp attorney can:
• Fight for you when the insurance company/employer disputes your claim
• Save you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company
• Document your injuries and treatment
• Deal with your employer so you can focus on recovery
• Ensure you receive all the benefits you qualify for
• Challenge an adverse medical opinion in front of the law judge
• Help you secure a larger Workers Comp settlement
• Protect your legal rights and benefits, both now and for the future

No. Only those disabilities that are causally related to an accidental injury "arising out of and in the course of the employment" or to occupational disease, are compensable.

Yes, you are still entitled to Workers Comp benefits.

The worker may lose his/her right to benefits and medical care.

No. Workers Comp Law Judges may assist a worker not represented by an attorney. An attorney's assistance may be desirable if the issues are complicated or to obtain educated and experienced guidance. Attorney's fees are deducted from the claimant's award, as determined by a Workers' Compensation Law Judge. A claimant must not pay an attorney directly.

Yes. If medical care is necessary, it will be provided even though there has been no lost time from work (or less than eight days lost time) and no cash benefits paid.

Yes. The employer or insurance carrier is entitled to have the worker examined by a qualified physician. Refusal to submit to an exam may affect the worker's claim.

The insurance carrier contesting a claim must file a notice of controversy with the Board within eighteen days after the disability begins or within ten days of learning of the accident, whichever is greater. The carrier must give the reasons why the claim is not being paid. The issue is resolved by a Workers Compensation Law Judge at a prehearing conference or a hearing.

The worker may file with the Board a written application for review within thirty days of the filing of the notice of the Judge's decision. The application must specify why the claimant disagrees with the decision.

The worker may appeal to the Appellate Division, Third Department, within thirty days after the decision has been served upon the parties.

Under the Workers Compensation Law, any settlement, whether a stipulation agreement or a Section 32 Waiver Agreement, is a negotiation between you and the Carrier. The main difference is that a Stipulation is always subject to modification, with proof and the Boards consent, whereas a Section 32 can never be changed once approved by the Board.

This is an agreement between the carrier and claimant which is memorialized in writing on a Board-prescribed form and placed on the record by the Judge. This agreement is usually to agree on a percentage of a schedule loss of use, level of disability, reimbursements to the employer, and/or what your weekly indemnity benefits will be.

This is an award that is issued by the Judge that determines the amount of loss of use you have to the injured body part (Usually limbs/digits). This percentage is determined by medical evidence such as treating doctors' report and the Independent Medical Examiners report, if any. This award is paid at your total disability rate as applied. This award is set forth in a Board decision, listing amounts as if they were lost wages, whether you have actually lost time or not. However, once an award is paid, if you have not been out of work for that amount of weeks, it is then considered an advance payment and if you go out of work due to this injury later on, you will not be paid for lost wages until the number of weeks is used up. If you have already been out of work for the amount of weeks of the schedule loss, you will not receive any further payments. But if you are out of work down the road, and used up the weeks of the schedule loss, you may be eligible for further monies.

The Section 32 agreement is a negotiation; therefore, you can include what you feel is in your best interest. There are times when medical is left in and just the monetary value is what is finalized. While many cases are based upon a certain number of years of future payments and also based upon various factors unique to a particular claim, remember it is a negotiation. Both parties have to be in agreement before it can be presented to the Board.

You will be responsible for anything related to this injury, no one else.

If this were to happen, you could then file a new claim. If the Judge were to determine that there would be an apportionment between the first injury and the new one, you would only get paid the apportionment amount from the new injury as the first injury case was settled.