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NYC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

New York City workers who are injured on the job might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation from their employers.

Workers’ compensation can be defined as “worker’s insurance” in that it provides medical benefits and wage replacement to anyone who is injured throughout the course of their employment or while working on the job.

At its core, workers’ compensation is designed to protect companies and businesses by limiting the liability they have if one of their employees gets into a workplace accident.

If you or someone you know has been in a workplace accident or received an injury while working in New York City, reach out to the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP for help in navigating the process from start to finish.

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Who's Eligible for Workers' Compensation in NYC

To be eligible for workers’ compensation in the state of New York, there are several requirements and guidelines that must be met.

The primary requirements for obtaining workers’ compensation are:

  • Working in the state of New York
  • Being employed by an organization or business within the state that is for-profit

Most Common Workplace Accidents in NYC

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides data on some of the most common workplace injuries and illnesses within New York City. Some of these injuries occur more often than others and include accidents such as slips and falls, construction accidents and falling objects.

Some of the most common injuries that are seen by workers include:

Sprains and Strains

Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains frequently occur in workplaces all around New York City. Fortunately, these injuries are usually not serious and can be easily treated and recovered from. However, if a worker has experienced a sprain or a strain on the job, he or she can often be subject to medical bills and lost wages, making workers’ compensation ideal.

Slips and Falls

Some workplaces subject workers to hazardous environments that can result in accidental slips and falls, such as wet floors, torn carpeting, defective sidewalks and potholes. When a worker is walking to his or her destination across one of these hazardous surfaces, a slip and fall can occur unexpectedly, resulting in injury.

Construction Site Accidents

Construction site accidents are an unfortunate yet common occurrence in New York City, most frequently resulting from building supplies, heavy machinery, vehicles and various construction tools. If a piece of scaffolding or debris falls on a worker from above, there is a chance that the worker may be injured.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are often included in workers’ compensation claims when an employee operates a work vehicle for his or her job duties. If a worker is driving to or from a work destination and is involved in an accident, the worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Wrongful Death

The wrongful death of an employee can occur due to the negligence of other individuals who are present in the work environment. Sometimes, wrongful death can even occur due to the negligence of the employer. If this is the case, wrongful death damages can be claimed.

Which industries in NYC commonly file workers' compensation claims?

There are dozens of different injuries and job types within New York City, but certain industries and occupations experience workplace injuries more often than others. Some of the industries that file a large number of workers’ compensation claims include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Public administration
  • Retail
  • Educational services

What does workers' compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation claims typically cover two-thirds of your average weekly wage as well as all of the medical costs that are tied to the injury you received in the workplace. A maximum amount claimable by a workers’ compensation claim is defined by the state.

If there are any travel expenses you incur due to travel from medical treatments and appointments, these expenses will be covered by a valid workers’ compensation claim.

If you’ve been injured on the job in New York City, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the workers’ compensation guidelines and reach out to your employer to inform them of your injury.

When to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in NYC

If you’ve been injured on the job in New York City, follow these instructions immediately in order to ensure your safety and kick off the workers’ compensation claim process:

  1. Immediately seek medical attention. If you are seriously injured, dial 911 right away in an emergency. You can also visit the nearest hospital if you are able, or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician if your injuries are not severe.
  2. Within 30 days, notify your employer. Your employer must be notified as quickly as possible before you can begin your workers’ compensation claim. This is absolutely essential and cannot be overlooked.
  3. You have two years from the date of injury to file a claim according to the statute of limitations in New York.
  4. Appeal your claim decision if necessary. If there are any snags with your workers’ compensation claim or if you wish to dispute the outcome, you should appeal any decisions made within 30 days.
 

The Workers’ Compensation System In New York

New York law requires that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of a workplace injury, this will be your first lifeline. The workers’ compensation program is a “no-fault” system, which means you won’t have to prove your employer was negligent before collecting benefits. On the other hand, collecting workers’ compensation benefits essentially forfeits your right to pursue further legal action against your employer.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover your medical bills and compensate for a portion of your lost wages. They don’t provide compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering. In order to collect these benefits, you’ll have to take the following steps:

  • Tell your employer as soon as possible. Your employer must fill out an accident report and submit it to the insurance company before they approve it and you can receive benefits.
  • Receive immediate medical care. Your employer may tell you to go to an in-network provider, or you may be able to see your own primary care provider. No matter where you seek care, do it as soon as possible and tell your provider you were injured at work.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders and keep all appointments. Noncompliance might jeopardize your ability to receive benefits or win a third-party liability claim.

If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you won’t be able to pursue a personal injury claim against your employer. In certain instances, however, you may be able to file a claim against a third party,  so speak with a seasoned New York personal injury lawyer experienced in these types of claims. Here are a few examples:

INJURY FROM DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS

If your injury was the result of a product defect, you may have a product liability case against the company who manufactured or sold it. An example might include a defective office chair that collapsed when you sat down on it or a faulty welding torch that backfired. In these instances, you may be able to collect both economic and general damages.

ANY THIRD-PARTY NEGLIGENCE

In certain industries, such as construction, you may be working with several different companies at once. If someone not affiliated with your company or employer directly plays a role in your injury, you may be able to file a third-party claim for negligence. An example of this might be a construction worker who falls through a negligently installed roof.

What happens if my NYC workers' compensation claim is denied?

When you submit your workers’ compensation claim, there’s always a slight chance that your claim could be denied. If this happens, what should you do?

Fortunately, if your claim is denied it isn’t the end of the world, and there are certain steps you can take to appeal your denial and correct any mistakes that were made.

One of the most common reasons for denial is when an employer does not wish to pay out a workers’ compensation claim because of the potential increase in insurance premiums. Whenever a workers’ compensation claim pays out, the employer will likely face increased insurance charges.

Another common denial reason is when an employer states that there isn’t enough evidence for your workplace injury. Most of the time, it is claimed that there is inadequate documentation of your workplace accident, and the employer doesn’t have records to show what exactly occurred.

In both cases, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process and assist you with winning your appeal. If your attorney has worked through a number of other workers’ compensation cases, he or she will know exactly what to expect from each step of the process and have the inside knowledge that’s required to make your appeal heard.

From the date of your workers’ compensation claim’s denial, you have 30 days to appeal. With the help of a good attorney, you can make this process painless, simple and straightforward and receive the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Why do I need a NYC workers' compensation lawyer?

Without professional guidance and representation, navigating the workers’ compensation process in the state of New York can be tedious and challenging. You have to be aware of all of the deadlines, know which paperwork to file and when and understand the process from start to finish.

In order to save you both time and potential headache, hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney such as the lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP is recommended.

An experienced attorney will help you keep all of your submission deadlines and requirements in check, walk you through the entire claim filing process and be there to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Your attorney will work with insurance companies in order to gather witness statements, gather evidence as required and retrieve any relevant records that may pertain to your case.

Furthermore, in the event that your workers’ compensation claim is denied, your attorney will help you file a timely appeal and give you the best chance of winning your appeal.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job in New York City, contact the lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP today to get the compensation and justice you deserve.

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