Whether it’s in an office or at a construction site, an injury can occur in any workplace setting. After seeking the necessary medical care, the first thing you should do is file for workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as workers’ comp.
Unfortunately, many workers let their chance for workers’ comp pass. This can leave you with unpaid medical bills and little to no income while you’re unable to work. Injured workers may also face insurance companies and employers that attempt to deny or reduce their compensation.
In these cases, it’s best to have a skilled and knowledgeable New York workers’ comp lawyer on your side. The Weinstein Group, PLLC believes every injured worker should get the financial compensation they need.
If you or a loved one have sustained an injury on the job, please contact us today at 212.741.3800 to schedule your free case evaluation.
What types of injuries can workers’ compensation cover?
Our New York workers’ comp lawyers have experience in representing workers from all types of industries who have sustained injuries while on the job, including:
- Construction accident injuries
- Burns or heat stress from electrocution accidents
- Illnesses stemming from exposure to toxic substances
- Hearing damage
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Pulled or strained muscles in the back
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries from getting struck by falling objects
These injuries can stem from a wide range of causes. Whether it was caused by unsafe infrastructure on a construction site, the result of inadequate training, or simply a dangerous situation doesn’t matter.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning injured workers are entitled to compensation without factoring in negligence or fault. Injured workers are not required to prove the reason or cause of the accident. However, insurance companies have been denying claims more and more in recent years and launching investigations in an effort to reduce or deny benefits.
Learn more about what workers’ compensation covers in New York.
Who can file a workers’ compensation claim?
Every injured worker is eligible for workers’ comp. Filing for workers’ comp is a routine practice following any workplace injury. Whether you’re an office worker who tripped on the steps at work and broke your arm or a construction worker that fell off of a ladder, you can file for compensation provided you meet the following qualifications:
- You’re an employee
- The injury or illness is work-related
- You meet your state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing your claim
- Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance
Every injured worker is eligible for injuries that occur on the job, regardless of the cause of the injury.
Common misconceptions about workers’ compensation
There are many common misunderstandings about workers’ compensation. It exists to protect you and to provide an alternative to lawsuits.
Is workers’ comp the same as a lawsuit?
No, workers’ comp is NOT the same thing as a lawsuit. You don’t have to sue anyone to get your payout. It’s an insurance claim filed with the policy carried out by your employer. Your boss does not pay workers’ comp out-of-pocket; their insurance covers it.
Can I lose my job because I filed for workers’ comp?
No, employers don’t fight workers’ compensation claims and they can’t let an employee go simply for filing a claim. The insurance company may argue the details of your case but your employer takes no part in it. In fact, employers are happy to have workers’ comp because it protects them from being sued.
Do I have to prove negligence on my employer’s part?
Sometimes a workplace injury is caused by a safety violation, and sometimes it isn’t. You are covered regardless of the cause. You don’t have to prove anything about the safety conditions at work.
If I file for workers’ comp, do I lose the right to file a lawsuit?
In some cases, there really is grounds for a lawsuit. In that case, we usually recommend filing for workers’ compensation anyway. You’re allowed to do both, and you’ll receive workers’ comp regardless of whether you win your court case or not.
Learn more about why it’s important to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
How does a workers’ comp claim work?
The process of filing a workers’ comp claim and recovering from your injury can be draining and time-consuming. This is where an experienced New York workers’ comp lawyer can help. After you’re hurt, we’ll handle the filing on your behalf and provide a formal notice to your employer’s insurance company.
Next, we’ll gather all of the necessary records and documents to support your case. Common documents that we’ll need include:
- The accident report
- Witness testimony
- Medical records from your doctor
We’ll be as thorough as possible because we want to make sure you’re fully compensated for your injury and any related expenses. Insurance companies will try to get out of paying for treatments wherever possible, so it’s crucial that you have all of the supporting evidence that exists.
You’re probably wondering, “What’s my role in the workers’ comp process?” The answer is simple: Do not give any statements to the insurance company without talking to your lawyer first. Help us get the most complete picture possible of your injury and medical needs following the accident
Once the claim is approved, your medical expenses and your lost earnings will also be paid. There will be medical evaluations from time to time as well. These evaluations determine how you’re recovering and if you will need further treatment.
The timeline of a workers’ compensation claim
Workers’ comp statute of limitations varies by state. In New York, you have two years to file a workers’ comp claim for an injury. The two-year countdown begins from the date of the injury; however, you don’t want to wait longer than you have to. This is because insurance companies may try to “disclaim” your case, which means denying you compensation.
Disclaiming is something insurers do when they believe a case is frivolous. For example, if you wait a year and a half to file your claim, the insurance company will ask why you didn’t file it sooner even though you were within the deadline.
Their argument will be that if you weren’t in pain the week after the injury, there’s no reason you would be 18 months later. They’ll try to deny you your rightful workers’ comp benefits, regardless of the circumstances of your injury.
We know that not all injuries are the same and some aren’t even immediately apparent. Take concussions, for example. It could start off seemingly minor and get worse over time.
The New York workers’ compensation lawyers at Weinstein Law Group, PLLC will fight for you no matter when the injury happened. However, you have the best chance of having your claim approved and your case will be strongest if you come to us as soon as possible.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll face opposition from the insurance company.
Can I appeal a workers’ comp denial?
At the end of the day, insurance companies are for-profit businesses that will do everything in their power to deny your claim. Common reasons for a claim denial include:
- Claiming that the injury was not work-related
- Claiming the injury did not occur while on the job
- Claiming the injury stems from a pre-existing condition
- Accusations of fraud
- Accusations of misrepresenting or exaggerating the injury
If your workers’ comp claim gets denied, you have the right to appeal the denial. We can help you with the appeals process. The appeals process varies by state; in New York, you have 30 days to appeal and request a hearing before a panel of workers’ comp law judges.
The hearing is a legal proceeding and it’s in your best interest to have top-notch legal representation at this stage. A skilled New York workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process and make the strongest case to overturn the denial.
Contact our skilled New York workers’ compensation lawyer
The Weinstein Group, PLLC has over 30 years of advocating for the rights of workers from all industries. If you’ve been injured on the job, we’ll aggressively fight for your right to receive your workers’ comp benefits, including medical bills, lost wages, and partial, total, or temporary disability benefits.
Navigating this process isn’t easy. There’s endless paperwork, bureaucratic red tape, and critical deadlines to juggle. Not to mention, the insurance company will be working against you every step of the way.
The New York workers’ compensation lawyers of the Weinstein Group, PLLC will ensure your claim gets filed correctly and that you receive the full amount you’re entitled to. Most importantly, we’ll listen to you and help you make the best choice as to how to pursue your case: workers’ comp, a lawsuit, or both.
No one deserves to live in financial jeopardy because of a work-related injury. Call The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC today and get started down the road to financial compensation. The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC does not charge anything unless you receive your benefits. We offer a free consultation to help you decide what your best course of action is and how to proceed.
Contact us at 212.741.3800 or online today to schedule your free consultation.