Workers’ Compensation Attorney
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No matter what type of job you may have, there is a risk of getting sick or being injured. While certain industries – such as construction – have a higher incidence of workplace injuries, it is possible to get hurt at almost any job site. If you get hurt at work – or if you develop an occupational illness – then you are entitled to compensation through New York’s workers’ compensation law.
By filing a workers’ comp claim, you may be eligible for health care, cash benefits for lost wages, and even survivor benefits for family members of workers who are killed in fatal workplace accidents. While many workers’ compensation claims are relatively straightforward, employers and their insurance companies often attempt to deny or minimize the benefits that they have to pay to injured workers. A skilled Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer can advocate for you and help you get the benefits that you deserve under the law.
The Odierno Law Firm represents injured workers in Nassau and Suffolk counties who have been hurt or developed an occupational illness on the job. We work hard to help our clients get the workers’ compensation benefits that they need to fully recover from their injuries. Give our law office a call to learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation.
Fill out a free evaluation form to learn more.
Understanding New York’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of insurance that is designed to protect employees. Because it is no fault, an injured worker does not have to prove that their employer did anything wrong in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. As long as they can show that their injury or illness arose from their employment, they can receive benefits for their injury or illness.
Virtually all employers in the state of New York are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. When an employee gets an on-the-job injury or is diagnosed with an occupational illness like asbestosis or carpal tunnel syndrome, their claim is submitted to the insurance company. If the insurer agrees that the injury or illness is work-related, then the worker receives cash benefits and medical care.
Many workers’ compensation claims are not disputed. Injured workers submit a claim, and the insurance company pays cash benefits for lost wages and for medical care. However, there are situations where the insurance carrier and/or employer dispute some aspect of the claim, such as whether the injury was work-related if certain medical treatment is necessary, or whether a worker can return to the job. In this situation, it may be necessary to file a claim with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
The Board will hold a hearing where each side has an opportunity to present evidence and make arguments. It will then issue a decision on the matter. If you disagree with some aspect of the Board’s decision, you can file an appeal.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in New York?
According to the workers’ compensation laws of the state, practically everyone who is employed in the state is entitled to the benefits of workers’ comp insurance. Since New York is not an “elective state,” meaning that employers cannot choose whether or not they would like to purchase this form of insurance, you should be eligible to recover these types of benefits after a workplace injury.
This means that you must be an employee, however, and not a volunteer for a non-profit organization. That being said, all of the following are eligible to file for the benefits of workman’s comp:
- Part-time workers
- Full-time workers
- Full-time workers
- Borrowed employees
- Domestic workers
- Public school teachers
The only exception that may apply is if you are a member of a religious order or a volunteer of any kind. If you have a question about whether you can file a workers’ compensation claim, reach out to the Odierno Law Firm for a free claim review.
What Benefits Are Available for NY Workers’ Comp Claims?
There are three types of benefits that you may receive through the New York workers’ compensation system: medical care, cash benefits, and survivor benefits. The type and amount of benefits you receive depend on your specific situation.
Medical care includes medical, dental, surgical, optometry, medically-necessary drugs, and assistive devices. Other than emergencies, the health care provider that you see must be authorized by the Board to treat injured workers. If your employer participates in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), then you must see a provider who is part of that program.
If you are out of work for more than 7 days or your pay is reduced because of your injury or illness, you may be entitled to cash benefits for lost wages. Lost wages may include payments for:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Permanent partial disability
The amount of weekly benefit that you receive is based in part on your average weekly wage for the previous year as well as the degree of your disability. These benefits are subject to a minimum and maximum weekly benefit amount.
Finally, if a worker dies in a fatal accident or from an occupational disease, their survivors may be entitled to funeral or memorial expenses plus weekly cash benefits. A surviving spouse, minor children, and other dependents may be entitled to these survivor benefits. The amount of the cash benefit is equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to the accident.
If you have been hurt at work, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Long Island can help you get the benefits that you are entitled to under the law. Reach out today to schedule a free claim review.
How Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim on Long Island?
If you get hurt at work or are diagnosed with an occupational disease, there are certain steps that you must follow in order to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not file a claim on time or fill out the proper paperwork, then you may forfeit your right to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The first and most important thing that you should do is notify your employer of your injury or illness within 30 days. Ideally, you will notify them as soon as possible of your injury or diagnosis.
Next, you should file an Employee Claim (C-3 form) with the Workers’ Compensation Board. This form must be filled out within 2 years of a work-related injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease. This form puts the Board on notice of your injury or illness.
Within 10 days of being notified of your injury or illness, your employer must notify their workers’ compensation insurance company if you require medical treatment beyond first aid or have lost at least one day of work beyond the initial injury or illness date. The insurance company must then provide you with a written Statement of Rights (Form C-430S) and any requirements for using pharmacy or diagnostic testing networks within 14 days of receiving notification of an injury or illness. Within 18 days of notification, the insurer must begin to pay benefits if lost time exceeds 7 days.
At any point in this process, the insurance company may dispute the claim. To do so, the insurer must notify the injured worker and file a notice of controversy within 18 days of the disability beginning or 10 days of learning of the injury or illness. This notice must state the reason why the claim is not being paid.
Can I Sue My Employer for Work-Related Injuries?
Workers’ compensation is considered an exclusive remedy. This means that, with a few exceptions, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for injuries that you suffer at work. For example, if your employer failed to carry workers’ compensation coverage when they were required to do so, or if they intentionally hurt you, you can file a personal injury claim against them.
It may also be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who caused your injuries. This may be necessary for situations where workers’ comp benefits are insufficient to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. With the help of a Long Island personal injury attorney, you could file a claim against:
- Construction contractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- Manufacturers of dangerous products
- Maintenance workers or installation techs
- Motorists who cause car accidents
- Property owners
Cases that involve both workers’ compensation and personal injury can be complex. To protect your right to maximum compensation, schedule a free consultation with an attorney who has experience in both areas of law.
Can I Afford to Hire a Lawyer for My Workers’ Comp Claim?
Yes. Workers’ compensation lawyers handle these claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing out of pocket, and only pay a fee if they recover money for you. For this reason, it is possible for anyone to hire an attorney – even if they don’t have cash on hand to pay upfront.
In Long Island, the Odierno Law Firm will fight for your right to full compensation. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
How Long Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New York?
The length of time that you can collect workers’ comp benefits is determined by the disability rating assigned to you by your healthcare provider. Generally, you may receive benefits for anywhere from 225 to 525 weeks based on the facts of your case.
The best way to ensure that you get the full amount of benefits that you deserve is by working with experienced lawyers who have an in-depth knowledge of NY workers’ compensation law. In Long Island, contact the Odierno Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.
Are There Any Injuries that Aren’t Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Generally, if you are hurt at work, it will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are some exceptions to this coverage. Specifically, if you get hurt because of something intentional that you did – like get into a fight with a coworker – or because you were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, then your claim may be barred.
In addition, if you are not covered by workers’ comp, then you cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about whether you are entitled to benefits or how you can file a claim, reach out to the Odierno Law Firm to talk to a skilled Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
When you get hurt at work, you have certain rights under New York law. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies may not accept responsibility for your injury or illness. You can count on the Odierno Law Firm to fight for your rights.
From our law office in Melville, NY, we represent injured workers throughout Long Island. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to talk to a Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer, give us a call at 631-752-8580 or fill out our online contact form.
Dedicated To You
We are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained. We are determined to fight for you. We have a no recovery, no fee policy, so you don’t pay unless we win.
- You Will Not Pay Us Unless We Win Your Case
- Our Firm is Backed By Trial Success & Client Satisfaction
- We Will Review Your Personal Injury Claim For Free
- We Have Over 150 Years of Combined Legal Experience