New York City Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Did you recently suffer injuries while working in New York City, New York? As an employee, you have rights, including the opportunity to seek benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. An experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NYC at The Platta Law Firm can help you maximize your recovery. The Platta Law Firm is recognized as one of the city’s top plaintiff’s workers’ compensation law firms. Our award-winning New York trial attorneys have over 150 years of combined experience litigating complex workplace injury disputes. Since our founding, we’ve forced employers, insurance companies, and other tough adversaries to pay our clients hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.
Don’t settle for less than your workers’ compensation injury claim is worth. Make the most of this opportunity, putting our top-rated legal team on the case. Contact our NYC, NY law office today at (212) 514-5100 to schedule a free consultation.
Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in New York City?
A no-fault system, like workers’ comp, should be straightforward, right? Not necessarily. Many workers’ compensation claims for benefits are far more time-consuming and complicated than necessary. Insurance companies are for-profit entities that only care about the bottom line. Simply put, they are not on your side and will fight to deny your claim or minimize how much money you receive. Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you throughout the claims process is one of the best ways to support your fight for compensation.
The Platta Law Firm Can Help You Maximize Your NYC Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefits
You might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits, but that doesn’t mean the road to recovery will be easy. Insurance companies are notorious for making the claims process a nightmare for injured workers like yourself. Since they handle claims every day, they have the upper hand. You can level the playing field by letting our accomplished NYC personal injury lawyers handle your claim for benefits. Here’s why you’ll want The Platta Law Firm fighting for you:
- We’re nationally acclaimed NYC trial attorneys with over 150 years of combined experience.
- Super Lawyers, Lawyers of Distinction, and the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys have recognized us for our hard work and results.
- Clients always benefit from honest, transparent, and effective legal representation.
- It costs absolutely nothing to hire our law firm unless we win your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Our results speak volumes, with hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits, settlements, and verdicts recovered for our clients.
Workers’ compensation ensures you can get back on your feet after you’re injured on the job. Our NYC workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help you assert your rights and recover the maximum payout permitted under New York state law. We’ll handle the insurance company and help you navigate the claims process. You focus on getting better. Contact our law office in New York City by calling (212) 514-5100 to set up a free consultation. Members of our team are always available to help.
Understanding New York’s Workers’ Compensation System
A work-related injury or illness can swiftly and substantially impact workers’ ability to earn a living and support themselves. New York has established a workers’ compensation insurance system to alleviate the financial struggles workers experience in the wake of an injury.
In New York, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that benefits workers who are injured or become ill at work. The system is intended to provide workers with an accelerated path to compensation, allowing them to bypass the traditional civil justice system. Workers waive the right to sue their employers for work-related injuries in exchange for no-fault benefits.
Which Employers Have to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
According to WCL §2 and 3, almost every employer in New York must carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Coverage details must be displayed in a conspicuous and prominent place in the workplace.
How Do I Know if I’m Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
While an employer in NYC may be legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, the policy may not apply to everyone working there or getting hurt. In order to recover benefits, you must be an eligible employee who has suffered a work-related injury or illness. Specifically:
- You must be a full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal employee, and
- Your injury or illness must have been sustained while you were performing job-related responsibilities or tasks.
You won’t be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits if you’re an independent contractor or got hurt outside your employment scope. Note that unpaid workers – including volunteers and family members – are considered employees for the purposes of New York workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s important to ensure you’re classified properly for tax purposes and coverage under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Some employers may attempt to misclassify workers as contractors to save costs. If you suspect that you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor and denied benefits to which you’re rightfully entitled, contact The Platta Law Firm. Our New York workers’ compensation attorneys can review your situation and help ensure your rights as a worker are fully protected.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available to Injured Workers in NYC?
You can receive five types of benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Medical Benefits: All reasonable and necessary medical expenses are recoverable, even if you lose your job. They include hospitalization, surgery, medication, medical devices, rehabilitation and more. You must seek care from a pre-approved physician unless you need immediate treatment.
- Lost Wage Benefits: You can recover compensation for your loss of income if you miss more than seven days of work. Benefits are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage before the injury multiplied by your percentage of disability.
- Reduced Earning Benefits: If you cannot work at the same job but one that pays lower wages, you can collect reduced earning benefits. They amount to ⅔ the difference between the two wages and your new weekly salary.
- Death Benefits: Surviving family members can receive help when a worker dies because of a job-related issue. Survivor benefits can include money for the loss of financial support (up to ⅔ of the victim’s average weekly wage). Children can collect benefits until they reach 18 or 23 if they attend college. Blind or disabled children will receive benefits for life. A spouse may collect for life unless they remarry, at which time they receive a final payment for two years of benefits.
- Funeral and Burial Expenses: The family of a worker who is killed on the job can recover benefits to cover the funeral and the worker’s burial. Benefits max out at $12,500 in the NYC metropolitan area and $10,500 outside the city. Note that workers’ compensation insurance benefits are limited to economic awards.
- Third-Party Recovery: You may pursue these damages through a related third-party personal injury lawsuit.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated in New York State?
You’re entitled to workers’ compensation, but how much are your benefits worth? While every case is different, the same factors will be considered during the valuation process.
- Determine Your Average Weekly Wage (AWW): Calculate the average gross earnings of the injured worker over the 52 weeks before the accident date. Include regular wages, overtime, bonuses, and other forms of compensation. Divide the total by 52 to obtain the AWW.
- Calculate the Compensation Rate: The compensation rate is usually two-thirds (66.67%) of the AWW. The state sets state-ordered high and low limits, so the calculated rate must fall within them. For claims filed July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, the maximum compensation rate is $1,145.43.
- Determine Duration Benefits: The benefit duration depends on the injury’s nature and severity. Different types of injuries have different durations of benefits outlined in the workers’ compensation guidelines.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If the injury results in a permanent partial disability, the number of weeks for compensation is determined based on the impairment’s type and severity. The compensation rate is then applied to the number of weeks assigned for the specific disability.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): In cases of permanent total disability, the injured worker may be entitled to two-thirds of their AWW for the rest of their life.
- Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA): Cost of living adjustments are sometimes applied to ongoing benefits to account for inflation.
It’s important to note that workers’ compensation laws and regulations can be complex, and individual cases may vary. Consulting with our NYC workers’ compensation attorneys can provide more specific and accurate information tailored to your situation. The Platta Law Firm has the answers you need.
Advocating for All Injured Workers in NYC
The Platta Law Firm is devoted to securing maximum benefits for our injured clients. We have a long history of representing workers from a variety of high-risk industries in the city, including:
- Warehouse employees
- Construction workers
- Commercial truck drivers
- Manufacturing employees
- Aircraft pilots
- Delivery drivers
- Healthcare workers
- Maritime workers
If you’re a public servant in New York City, such as a sanitation worker, police officer, or firefighter, you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, numerous alternatives for financial recovery exist, including job-specific programs like 207-C benefits for police officers injured while on duty. Additionally, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the city, the state, or a negligent third party. We provide services to all injured workers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and surrounding areas.
What Should I Do if I Want to Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Workplace Accident in New York City?
Being proactive after an injury at work helps ensure a successful outcome. Immediately after a work-related accident, you should take the following seven steps.
- Step 1: Take pictures or a video of the accident area to prove what caused this incident.
- Step 2: Document everything, including conversations about your injuries.
- Step 3: Describe the incident in your own words and see if witnesses are willing to do so.
- Step 4: Seek immediate medical attention. Ensure your doctor fills out Form C-4 and sends it to the NY Workers’ Compensation Board within 48 hours.
- Step 5: Contact a workers’ compensation attorney in New York City ASAP.
- Step 6: Report the incident to your employer within 30 days and keep a copy of the paperwork. Your employer should provide you with a Claimant Information Packet with the necessary forms and information. Once your employer knows about your on-the-job injury, they’ll have 10 days to notify their insurance company and the WCB. Within 14 days of receiving notice from your employer, the WCB must send you a written statement concerning your legal rights (Written Notice of Rights).
- Step 7: Formally file an Employee Claim Form (C-3) with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the incident.
Common Workers’ Compensation Claim Mistakes
It’s just as important to know what not to do when you’re pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. Making any of these mistakes after you are hurt can prevent you from getting the money you need and deserve:
- Failing to report your work-related injury or illness to your employer within 30 days of the incident
- Failing to file a claim for benefits within two years of the date of your injury or illness
- Proving false information or lying to your medical team, workers’ compensation insurance board, or attorney
- Failing to report pre-existing injuries that could potentially affect your claim for benefits.
While you can seek workers’ compensation as a qualifying employee, it’s up to you to prove your injuries and losses. The Platta Law Firm can help you craft a compelling legal claim that helps you obtain the maximum benefits possible under New York law.
When Will I Start Receiving Workers’ Compensation Payments?
If you’re out of work for more than seven days, you should begin to receive payment for lost time immediately. You should get a benefits check every two weeks until:
- When you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- You can return to work in the same capacity, or
- The compensation recovery period expires.
The insurance company must notify the WCB when payments begin. You could receive workers’ compensation benefits from some employers for COVID-19. Usually, city departments are more apt to pay, while private employers may refuse.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Workers’ Compensation Case?
It depends on the extent of your injuries. Our attorneys can help you settle your case one year after your last surgery if you do not need any extra surgeries in the future. If you don’t require surgery, then resolution can take within six months of your work-related accident. A case can last longer than a year if continuous medical treatment is necessary.
Can I Sue If I’m Recovering Workers’ Compensation?
You can’t sue your employer if you file and collect workers’ compensation benefits. Under the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, your employer has protection against these legal actions. When you get benefits, your employer is free from the time and expense of lawsuits.
However, just because you can’t file a lawsuit against your employer doesn’t mean you waive your right to sue entirely. You can sue if a third party contributed to your construction accident or other work-related injuries. After your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NYC investigates the work accident and injury, our attorneys might determine that you have a legitimate case against a:
- Property owner
- Product manufacturer
- Motorist (if you suffered injuries in a truck accident or car accident on company time)
Filing a lawsuit can help you recover damages above and beyond what workers’ compensation will pay – including money for your pain and suffering. You’ll have up to three years from your accident to file a lawsuit. You’ll have two years to file a wrongful death action if a family member dies in a fatal workplace accident in NYC due to a third party and the family does not collect benefits. If you miss the statute of limitations deadline, you’ll lose the right to seek additional compensation.
Can I Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I’m Responsible for My Injuries?
Yes. In New York, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. No-fault means workers may receive benefits regardless of who caused the accident or injury. An injured worker can be at fault for their damages and obtain benefits. Fault only affects the benefits received in two situations:
- The damage was solely due to their intoxication
- A person deliberately injures themselves or another with the intent to harm
A workers’ compensation case is not a lawsuit against one’s employer. It is a claim with the insurance carrier to cover medical and wage loss benefits and death. The video on the sidebar explains the history of workers’ compensation in the United States.
Do I Have to Get Hurt at Work to Qualify for New York Workers’ Compensation?
Compensation benefits are available under New York State law if your employer carries workers’ comp and you suffer injuries at your workplace or while performing job-related tasks away from it. Call The Platta Law Firm today to determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Can I Lose My Job Because of a Disability?
The law prevents employers from terminating you due to a disability. You might be eligible for protection under the American Disability Act or other employee protection laws. As for the most lucrative workers’ compensation cases, the top three resulting in substantial payouts for injured workers typically involve:
- Schedule Loss of Use (SLU): Such cases arise from an injury to an extremity or joint while on the job. This would include damage to your shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, wrist, fingers, ankle, or toes. In this case, our workers’ comp lawyers will tell you to maximize your benefits.
- Loss of Wage Earning Capacity (LWEC): Loss of wage earning capacity cases result from injury to your systemic areas such as the head, back, or neck. You must be out of work due to your injury. A workers’ comp attorney can help you decide if this scenario fits your injuries.
- Section 32 (Settlement): These cases involve a one-time lump sum payout for your medical treatment and lost wages. Most of the time, it relieves the workers’ comp insurance carrier from future responsibilities.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers in New York City will protect you as you fight to get back on your feet. We’ll handle your claim for benefits and work to ensure that your job is safe until you can return. Contact our law office to discuss any concerns you may have. We’re always here to help.
What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
The Independent Medical Examination (IME) is crucial in assessing workplace-related injuries. Conducted by a neutral and independent medical professional, the IME aims to provide an unbiased evaluation of an employee’s health status and the extent of their work-related condition.
This examination is a key component of the workers’ compensation process in NYC, offering valuable insights to both employers and insurance providers. Benefits of the IME include:
- Verification of Injury: The IME helps verify the legitimacy of a claimed workplace injury or illness, ensuring that the reported condition is indeed related to the individual’s job duties.
- Determining Causation: It assesses the causal relationship between the reported health issue and the individual’s work environment, establishing whether the injury resulted from occupational factors.
- Evaluation of Medical Treatment: The IME assists in evaluating the appropriateness and effectiveness of the medical treatment received by the employee.
- Assessment of Disability: This examination is crucial in determining the extent of disability resulting from the work-related condition. This helps establish the compensation and benefits the injured worker may obtain.
- Facilitating Dispute Resolution: In cases where there is a disagreement between the injured worker, employer, and insurance provider regarding the nature or severity of the injury, the IME provides an objective assessment to help resolve disputes.
As your advocate, The Platta Law Firm will help you obtain an independent medical evaluation as you pursue maximum benefits through your workers’ compensation claim.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NYC?
Immediately after a work-related injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease, obtain the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer. Engaging a New York workplace injury attorney shows your determination to pursue your claim and recover all benefits New York State law entitles you to. Early involvement of an attorney often deters insurance companies from resorting to bad faith practices or risking a trial.
The Platta Law Firm’s reputation precedes us; when we represent you, adjusters know we approach every case as potentially court-bound. Consequently, they are more likely to give our clients the respect they deserve and propose fair benefits. Your attorney will be instrumental in:
- Guiding You Through the Paperwork: Workers’ compensation claims involve substantial paperwork. An attorney can help you correctly fill out and submit all required forms, ensuring no omitted details.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often attempt to minimize the compensation they pay out. A skilled attorney can negotiate on your behalf to secure maximum benefits.
- Advocating for You: If the court denies your claim, an attorney can represent you at workers’ compensation hearings and present your case in the best possible light.
- Advising You on Potential Third-Party Claims: In some cases, parties other than your employer might be liable for your injury. An experienced attorney can identify these opportunities and help you pursue additional compensation.
The Platta Law Firm prides itself on a solid track record of advocating for injured workers. You’ll want an attorney to represent you because this is your opportunity to argue your side of the story, present facts, and have witnesses testify. The judge will hear from you and the insurance company and then decide your claim.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a NYC Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
A common concern of injured workers seeking legal representation is the cost. It is essential to understand that at The Platta Law Firm, we operate on a contingency fee basis when handling workers’ compensation cases. Contingency means you pay nothing upfront, and we only receive payment if we successfully secure compensation for you.
New York State Law sets a predetermined percentage fee we can charge. Therefore, you can trust that our interests align with yours; we receive a payment when you win. This fee structure allows you access to high-quality legal representation without the financial stress of hiring an attorney.
Can I Appeal My Workers’ Compensation Claim If It’s Denied?
If a workers’ compensation law judge denies your claim for benefits at a hearing, you can appeal the decision. You must file your appeal within 30 days of the denial. A three-board panel comprised of workers’ compensation board members will review your request. A few things can happen during an appeal. The three-board panel can:
- Modify the decision and change the benefits
- Reject the denial and order a payment of benefits
- Send the dispute back for additional hearings on the matter
- Agree with the judge’s decision to deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits
You can appeal if the insurance company denies your claim or you dispute the result. You can request that the entire Workers’ Compensation Board or the New York State’s Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Judicial Department review it. Remember, the insurance company can appeal the decision in a workers’ compensation case. However, even if you win, the insurer can ask for a second opinion. If that happens, you’ll want a respected trial attorney ready to fight back.
Contact Our Award-Winning Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in NYC for Help Today
On-the-job injuries in New York City can affect nearly every aspect of your life. If you cannot work, it can put you in a really tough financial situation. Workers’ compensation is a lifeline that can help you stay afloat. An experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NYC is here to help you assert your rights and pursue the benefits you need and deserve.
At The Platta Law Firm, we successfully handle even the most complicated workers’ compensation cases. We offer comprehensive support to injured workers, from filing claims and pursuing maximum benefits to lodging appeals. Our ultimate goal is always to secure the top compensation our clients deserve.
When you choose our law firm, you’re choosing a team of NYC workers’ compensation attorneys with 150 years of combined experience. Moreover, they have a track record of recovering life-changing benefits. We put our clients first – always. Call our New York City law firm at (212) 514-5100 for immediate assistance. We’ll help you get the care you need and determine all available options for financial recovery.