New York City Workers’ Compensation Attorney
By law, your employer must take reasonable care in creating a safe place to work. This means they must provide proper safety equipment, train all employees in operating equipment, establish and maintain safety protocols, and take steps to prevent injuries. If you incurred an injury at the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation — learn your legal options and know when it’s time to contact a New York City workers’ compensation attorney.
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.
Free Consultation With A New York City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you recently sustained an accident in the workplace, you might be feeling confused and even hopeless. Medical bills and lost wages can quickly add up to an uncertain future, and you should never have to pay the price for someone else’s negligence. Contact Meirowitz & Wasserberg to set up a free initial consultation with a New York City workers’ compensation attorney. Let us provide advice about your next best steps and get you back on the road to recovery.