State Bar Association Provides Pro Bono Attorneys To Help Injured Workers With Workers’ Compensation Medical-Only Claims
Injured workers will now be able to obtain medical treatment more easily through the assistance of pro bono attorneys.
The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s Injured Workers Legal Assistance Project have partnered to allow for faster processing of attorney referrals. A NYSBA-developed user-friendly online portal will match clients with volunteer attorneys.
In medical-only claims, the insurance carrier or self-insured employer who pays the medical benefits has accepted liability but is disputing the medical treatment sought by the injured worker. These cases typically pose a challenge for injured workers seeking legal representation because no attorney fees are awarded when there are no lost wages. This can result in delayed or no medical treatment for workers.
“New Yorkers who are injured at work deserve legal representation. But often, workers whose only desire is to make sure their medical bills are paid cannot find an attorney. That is why we are partnering with the Workers’ Compensation Board to help injured workers focus on healing rather than worrying about how they will pay their medical bills,” said NYSBA President Scott Karson. “It is the highest calling of our profession to take on pro bono work and ensure that all New Yorkers have access to justice.”
“This marks another important action in New York’s long history of protecting workers’ rights and access to benefits,” said Clarissa M. Rodriguez, chair of the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board. “The Injured Workers Legal Assistance Project gives injured workers better access to justice when they have difficulty obtaining medical care for their work-related injury or illness. The project helps workers with medical-only claims find legal representation, which also improves the overall operation of the workers’ compensation system.”
Attorneys interested in volunteering can register here. Lawyers who are interested in volunteering will be required to participate in a free training webinar worth 2.0 MCLE credits. The training is presented by Alex C. Dell, founding attorney of the Law Firm of Alex Dell. Volunteers must complete the training webinar to be eligible to receive cases from NYSBA. Malpractice insurance coverage is provided for volunteers.
NYSBA has a separate pro bono network that is providing volunteer attorneys to help New York residents who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic access unemployment benefits. The association is also helping the families of COVID-19 victims with small estates handle these matters in Surrogates Court.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.