Workers’ Compensation

New York City Workers Compensation Lawyer

Workplace injuries can be both an emotional and financial drain on you while you recover after an accident. According to New York City laws, if you have suffered from a workplace injury, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. You can begin the application process through your organization. However, not everyone receives the correct amount of workers’ compensation insurance benefits. 

Around 67% of claims are initially denied. This means that about two out of three applicants are denied after their first application. To shorten the amount of time wasted navigating a complex application process, you can hire a workers’ comp lawyer to help you prepare your claim. Lawyers review workers’ compensation cases before they are submitted to ensure they have the appropriate information and are error-free. 

With the help of workers’ compensation lawyers in New York City, you can receive the correct compensation for your work-related injury. To find out more about how you can receive benefits and avoid reapplying or appealing your workers’ compensation claim, you can reach out to our law firm. Call Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolffe, LLC today for a free consultation. 

Common Workplace Accidents 

When you are injured while working on-site or traveling for business purposes, you are likely eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. On-the-job injuries can happen in a variety of ways, some even involving machinery. A majority of workers’ compensation claims happen for the following reasons:

Slip and Fall Accidents

Many injured workers fall after stepping on a slippery surface leading to injuries. Uneven surfaces can also cause slip and fall accidents. These accidents can happen because of broken steps, cracked floors, potholes, or torn carpets, too. When a worker has to operate from a tall height, they can fall off a ladder, platform, or scaffolding, resulting in catastrophic injuries.

Workers’ Compensation, Slip and Fall Accidents

Hit By Projectiles

Workers can also suffer injuries because of falling or flying objects. This can be due to faulty equipment breaking off and falling from a tall height. In other cases, extreme pressure can cause a heavy metal object to pop off its fixture and pierce a worker nearby. 

Muscle Strains 

Some injuries, like muscle sprains and strains, are caused by normal activities. This can happen if the employee lifts a heavy object without stretching first or following proper body mechanics.

Repeat Use Injury

When an employee lifts heavy items regularly or performs other tasks that require a repetitive motion, this can create a repeat use injury. Because of the wear and tear on muscles, this type of injury worsens as they continue the activity. 

Collisions 

Workers who spend a lot of time on the road, in construction, or at warehouse locations can be especially at risk of a crash or collision injury. They may crash or get hit by lorries, forklifts, and cars. With the traffic in New York City, these injuries are especially frequent. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injuries. 

Lacerations and Cuts

Employees can suffer severe cuts caused by malfunctioning equipment, poorly maintained tools, and out-of-place objects that cause injuries. Lacerations can be superficial or deep, resulting in heavy bleeding. Muscle tissue, tendons, and other soft tissues can also be harmed because of your cuts. 

Caught in Machinery

Poorly trained workers can make mistakes around machinery, or they simply aren’t being maintained up to required standards. Workers can be accidentally caught inside the gears of machinery, harmed by broken equipment, or crushed by a machine rolling in their direction. 

Toxic Fumes

Employees can be exposed to toxic fumes at their job when they work in a chemical facility or laboratory. This can cause hospitalization if the toxic fumes reach the eyes, skin, or lungs. Typically, this happens if the employee isn’t wearing the appropriate safety gear or the toxic fumes leaked due to poor maintenance. 

Burns

Chemical burns can happen when an employee is exposed to dangerous chemicals. When there are explosions, this can be the cause of first, second, and third degrees, which can damage and scar the skin and internal organs. 

Deafness

In some work environments, workers can suffer from deafness when they are exposed to sounds caused by machinery. Industrial facilities can create ear-piercing sounds that can damage the eardrums over extended periods. This can also happen if industrial workers don’t wear the appropriate safety equipment or follow their training.

Available Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation 

According to New York City workers’ compensation law, you should receive benefits for medical expenses and lost wages if you suffered an on-the-job injury. Here are the benefits you can claim for workers’ comp:

Monetary Benefits

Injured employees can receive cash benefits through the workers’ compensation system to help supplement their income while they are unable to work. They receive cash benefits based on the amount of earnings they were normally receiving before they were injured. According to workers’ compensation laws, workers receive a cash benefit that is equal to two-thirds of their wages. This benefit amount can’t exceed the maximum cap allowed by state law. 

Medical Benefits

After suffering a personal injury, the employee can receive reasonable medical care that they require to recover from their injuries. This includes any type of medical care they receive immediately following the accident, ongoing clinical visits, and smaller costs such as the mileage covered by the patient to their appointments.

Death Benefits

If a worker died from work-related injuries, the surviving spouse, dependent children, and anyone in their will may be entitled to death benefits. Eligible victims can also be reimbursed for funeral expenses, burial costs, and other fees. When there are no surviving heirs, the worker’s estate can receive a lump-sum payment of $50,000, which is distributed to their legal beneficiaries. 

Rehabilitation Programs

After an injured worker experiences a workplace accident, the worker may have to undergo rehabilitation before they can return to work. Rehabilitation services can include social services, vocational rehabilitation, selective placement, and medical rehabilitation. The programs are provided at no cost to the injured worker. 

Permanent Disability Benefits

If a worker was permanently disabled as a result of their workplace accident, they may have to change industry. If they are totally disabled, then the worker will receive total disability benefits. This is only if the employee reaches Maximum Medical Improvement within two years of the accident. The MMI is then measured to see if the employee is eligible for total disability benefits.  

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ Compensation

If you’ve suffered workplace injuries in New York City, you should start gathering information to apply for your workers’ compensation claim. Here are the steps required to apply for workers’ compensation benefits:

Write Down What Happened and Take Pictures

After the work-related accident, you should write down details of how the accident happened. This helps the office reviewing your case understand what circumstances caused your injuries. For construction workers, make sure you take pictures of the worksite and equipment involved. Writing down how the accident happened helps you remember crucial facts about your case.

You should also take pictures of your injuries, the area you got injured in, any tools or equipment that contributed to your accident, and other forms of evidence. Another idea is to keep physical evidence of items that could have caused you harm. 

Report to Your Employer

You should let your employer know about your injury immediately, either orally or in writing. This needs to be done within a 30-day period; otherwise, you may be considered ineligible for compensation benefits except in special circumstances. Your employer may also have additional deadlines or requirements for reporting your injury.

Get Medical Care

After you’ve been injured, you should seek medical care right away if you weren’t taken by an ambulance. The doctor can review your injuries and let you know how severely you were harmed. The physician must be insurance-authorized and typically is assigned by your employer at first.

Follow Up On Your Case

Your employer should have submitted your claim to an insurance company that manages workers’ compensation claims. You can follow up with the insurance company to make sure that they have all the necessary details to process your claim. 

Information you should provide includes the injuries you have, all of the damaged parts of your body, any witnesses who saw the accident, how the accident occurred, and the medical bills you received. Other important information includes the location, day, and time the accident took place. 

Speak to a Workplace Accident Lawyer

If you were denied or received compensation benefits that are less than you anticipated, then you can work with a legal team. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can review your claim, spot errors, and improve your claim so that you can receive the correct amount of benefits. 

What Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Do to Help 

Attorneys work hard to help prove that you deserve the workers’ compensation benefits you need. NYC workers’ compensation attorneys perform the following tasks to make this happen:

Investigate Your Workplace Accident

Your attorney will investigate your claim and find out how your accident happened. They may work with other experts to uncover additional evidence for your claim. Your attorney can find additional proof to strengthen your eligibility for benefits. Using this information, your attorney can help you resubmit your workers’ compensation application with updated details. 

Correct Errors 

Before your attorney helps you resubmit your claim, they can review the information you provided to check for any errors. You may have left out critical details and information that resulted in your claim being rejected. 

Guide You Through the Appeal Process

If you were denied benefits or received less than you were owed, you can go through the appeal process with your attorney’s help. They can represent your claim before the state workers’ compensation board and speak on your behalf by highlighting important aspects of your workplace injury. 

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation FAQs

When applying for compensation benefits, you may be confused by the process and what is required by New York City law. A workers’ compensation case is different from filing a personal injury lawsuit and can require additional steps if you were initially denied.

Am I Eligible for Benefits at a Small Company?

The minimum amount of employees that are needed for your employer to qualify for the state insurance program is four or more workers. The workers can be either part-time or full-time employees. This differs if the employer is in the construction industry, which only requires one or more employees, which can include the owner. For farming companies, there must be five or more regular workers. Otherwise, they must have 12 or more seasonal workers who are employed for thirty days or more. 

Does Anything Change If My Company Is a State or Government Agency?

If you are a federal or state employee working in New York City, you would still undergo the same process of filing a claim with your department. The insurance company working with your employer will manage your claim moving forward.

Can I See My Own Doctor When I Receive Workers’ Compensation?

After you were initially injured, your employer will send you to a certified doctor within their insurer’s network. After your first treatment, you can then receive healthcare from a doctor of your choice. 

Do I Get Emotional Distress Benefits?

In general, a workers’ compensation claim isn’t treated the same as a personal injury. You can’t receive pain and suffering benefits for a workplace injury. Under New York law, you can get compensated for psychological injuries only if they were caused by an above-average amount of stress. Your attorney would have to prove that the level of stress you experienced was far greater than that of other employees. 

How Does the Appeal Process Work?

When you were denied benefits or didn’t receive the amount you deserve, you can begin the appeal process. Here is what must be done:

File Before the Deadline

The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judge’s decision. 

Fill Out Application for Board Review

You must use the current form that outlines the required information you must provide in the application. You have to follow the detailed instructions within the form before it can be reviewed.

The Opponent Party Must Respond

The respondent must file a rebuttal within 30 days once they received the appeal. They may claim that there are discrepancies with your claim that barred you from receiving benefits. If they change their mind, they may form a resolution by providing you benefits by reversing their decision.

Have an Attorney Review Your Application 

Your workers’ compensation lawyer can check for any errors before you submit your appeal for board review. This ensures that you don’t make the same mistake and get denied benefits again.

Information that must be included in your appeal includes the following information:

  • Your WCB case number, claim admin’s claim number, and carrier code number
  • Your employer’s insurer’s name
  • Date of injury and leave from work
  • Your name and address
  • The party filing the appeal and type of application 
  • The issues that need review and the basis for the appeal
  • Evidence that includes photographs, documents, transcripts, and other forms of proof
  • Newly update evidence
  • Hearing dates
  • When an objection is made at the hearing
  • If awards are currently being paid
  • If you are paying an attorney fee

What Happens Next After the Appeal?

After you submit your appeal, the board panel made up of three members would take on your application and decide whether they should reverse the decision. If this board panel decision doesn’t solve the problem, you can file a second appeal. Thirty days after the board has provided a decision, your attorney can file an appeal with the State of New York Supreme Court. 

When Should I Work With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

If you believe you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits but are denied or receive less than you deserve, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney today. When you get injured while performing work-related duties, you should be eligible as long as you weren’t intoxicated, doing an illegal or criminal activity, or being violent. You also could be injured when not at the work location. For example, you can get injured while traveling globally for work, being paid to commute, or delivering for your job.

Attorneys can help guide you through the appeal process and estimate how much you should receive in compensation using your medical bills, evidence, and other factors. For example, you may have been partially or fully disabled for a period longer than two years. This can greatly reduce your ability to make a full-time income, requiring additional benefits. If your job’s insurer is not compensating you enough, speak to an attorney today to get the representation you need. Contact Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolffe, LLC for a free consultation