Workers Compensation Lawyer NYC
Have you been injured while working in New York City, NY? You may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits, which can help to cover your medical care, loss of income, and disability. Don’t settle for a smaller payout than you deserve – call The Platta Law Firm for help.
Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers in NYC can help you maximize your recovery. We stand up and fight against tough insurance companies and employers for our clients every single day. We get meaningful results in the process – more than $100 Million in benefits, settlements, and verdicts (and counting).
Contact our law office in New York City to get started. Your first consultation is free, and there’s no obligation. Call (212) 514-5100 now.
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation if I’m at Fault?
Yes. In New York, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. No-Fault means that workers may receive benefits regardless of who caused the accident or injury. In fact, an injured worker can be entirely at fault for their own injuries and still get money. Fault only affects the benefits received in two situations:
- The injury was caused solely due to their intoxication, or
- The injury was caused based only on the intent to injure themselves or another.
A workers’ comp case is not a lawsuit against one’s employer. It is a claim with the insurance carrier to cover medical and wage loss benefits. The video below explains the history of Workers Compensation in the United States.
Why You Need to Hire a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer if You’re Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation
A no-fault system means that getting benefits should be pretty simple, right? Not necessarily. In fact, many workers’ compensation claims for benefits are way more time-consuming and complicated than they need to be. Why? Insurance companies are for-profit entities that really only care about money. Your employer’s insurance company isn’t on your side. They will fight to deny your claim or minimize how much money you’re awarded. That’s why it’s smart to hire an experienced NYC personal injury lawyer to represent you throughout the workers’ compensation claims process.
At The Platta Law Firm, we’re award-winning litigators with a demonstrated ability to win the toughest workers’ compensation cases. We help injured workers file claims, pursue maximum benefits, and file appeals so that they’re awarded all of the money they deserve. When you choose our law firm, you’ll benefit from a team of NYC workers’ compensation attorneys who have:
- More than 130 years of combined experience.
- Recovered more than $100 Million in financial awards.
- Won cases that have shaped construction law to the benefit of injured workers in New York.
We put our clients first – always. If you’ve been hurt in a work-related accident in NYC, seek medical treatment. Then call our law firm for immediate assistance. We’ll help you get the care you need, determine all available options for financial recovery, and seek maximum compensation on your behalf. Your first consultation is free, so give us a call at (212) 514-5100 to get started today.
Five Things You Must Do to File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation in New York
Mistakes can be costly when you’re trying to get benefits. Here’s what you must do to ensure a successful claim and recovery:
- Don’t speak with insurance representatives or answer their questions.
- Contact our law firm for a free consultation and to get immediate legal protection.
- Take pictures or video of the accident area to prove what caused this incident.
- Call 911 to get an ambulance to take you to the hospital or to an on-site clinic.
- Report the accident to the employer within 30 days of the occurrence. You should report it in writing, via text message, or with witnesses.
Remember, you need to prove that your accident took place and that you reported it to the employer within 30 days. If you don’t do that, you may prevent yourself from any future workers’ compensation benefits. You can discuss your benefits in detail with your workers’ compensation lawyer in New York.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Available to Injured Workers in New York City?
When you get hurt on the job and are covered by workers’ comp benefits, you’ll be entitled to recover for your economic losses. Simply put, you can get money for things like medical treatment, lost income, and disability or impairment.
All of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses will be covered. This includes things like hospitalization, surgery, medication, medical devices, rehabilitation, and more. However, you can’t just go to the doctor of your choice or determine the best course of treatment. Unless you need to get to the emergency room immediately, you must seek care from a pre-approved physician.
Indemnity Benefits (Lost Wages)
You can recover compensation for your loss of income if you’re forced to miss more than 7 days of work. Wage replacement benefits can also be paid if you have to work fewer hours or perform different responsibilities. Benefits are equal to:
Two-Thirds of Your Average Weekly Wage Before You Got Hurt (x) Your Percentage of Disability.
Let’s say your average weekly wage before you got hurt was $500 a week and that you’re entirely disabled. You would be able to receive $500 a week n cash benefits. If you were 80% disabled, then you’d be entitled to $400 a week ($500 multiplied by 80%). There’s a cap, as set by New York State law. If you are hurt on the job between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, the average weekly wage is capped at $1,063.05.
Benefits can also be paid to surviving family members when a worker is killed because of a job-related injury or illness. Survivor benefits can include money for funeral expenses and loss of financial support (up to ⅔ of the victim’s average weekly wage). Workers’ compensation does not cover things like pain and suffering. In order to recover an award for non-economic damages, you’d have to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. The Platta Law Firm can help you understand whether or not you may have the right to seek additional damages after your workplace accident.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if I Get Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Maybe. You can’t sue your employer. Under New York workers’ compensation law, your employer is protected against these types of legal actions. You get benefits, and 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 a thorough investigation of your work accident and injury, our attorneys might determine that you have a legitimate case against a:
- Property owner
- Product manufacturer
- Motorist (if you were hurt in a car accident or truck accident)
Filing a lawsuit can help you recover damages above and beyond what workers’ comp will pay – including money for your pain and suffering. You’ll have up to three years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. You’ll have two years to file a wrongful death action if a family member is killed in a fatal workplace accident in NYC. If you miss the statute of limitations, you’ll lose the right to seek additional compensation.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
As soon as possible after you sustain a work-related injury or are diagnosed with an occupational disease. Getting an attorney involved in the process early on can help to ensure that things go smoothly. Your lawyer will help you:
- Meet filing deadlines
- Complete necessary paperwork
- Gather important pieces of evidence
- Secure appropriate medical treatment
- Appeal a denial or less-than-favorable decision
- Handle all negotiations with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier
- Determine if you may also have the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party
Hiring a NYC workplace injury attorney early on will also demonstrate that you’re serious about your claim and intend to recover all of the benefits to which you’re entitled under New York state law. When an attorney is involved, insurance companies are less likely to engage in bad faith practices or risk going to trial. When The Platta Law Firm is representing you, adjusters will know that our workers’ compensation lawyers approach every case as if it’s going to court. So, they’re usually more inclined to treat our clients with the respect they deserve and offer fair benefits packages.
What Does it Cost to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney in New York?
At The Platta Law Firm, our New York workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. There’s no cost to consult with us about your case or hire our law firm to represent you unless we win. How much will it cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer? The fee is set by New York State law and typically is typically 15 percent of your financial recovery. The fee can vary slightly, depending on the type of benefits sought and the end result. This is much lower than the standard fee for most personal injury cases, which usually sits anywhere between one-third and 40 percent.
Can I Appeal if my Claim for Benefits is Denied?
Yes, if a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge denies your claim for benefits at a hearing, you can appeal the decision. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial. A three-board panel comprised of members of the Workers’ Compensation Board will review your appeal. 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, or
- Send the dispute back for additional hearings on the matter.
- Agree with the judge’s decision to deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits
If your claim is still denied or if you dispute the result, it can be appealed again. This time, you’d request to have it reviewed by the full Workers’ Compensation Board or the New York State’s Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 3rd Judicial Department.
Keep in mind that the insurance company can also appeal the decision in a workers’ compensation case. So, even if you win, there’s a chance that the insurer will ask for a second opinion on the matter. If that happens, you’ll want to have a respected trial attorney ready to fight back.
We Represent Injured Workers Across New York City, NY
At The Platta Law Firm, we’ll be there to help you secure maximum benefits if you get hurt on the job. Our law firm regularly represents employees who work in some of the most dangerous industries in the city:
- Construction workers
- Commercial truck drivers
- Warehouse employees
- Manufacturing employees
- Aircraft pilots
- Delivery drivers
- Healthcare workers
- Maritime workers
If you’re a public employee in New York City, like a sanitation worker, police officer, or firefighter, you probably don’t qualify for workers’ compensation. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have legal options for a financial recovery.
There may be benefits available under job-specific programs, like 207-C benefits for police officers injured in the line of duty. Additionally, you may have the right to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the city, the state, or a negligent third party. Our law firm serves all injured workers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and surrounding areas. Contact us for immediate assistance if you or a loved one has been hurt on the job.
An Overview of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
So, you know that you’re a covered employee who’s eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But what’s next? What steps do you have to take to actually get the money you need to cover your costs and support your family? Here’s a brief overview of the workers’ compensation claims process in New York. Remember, The Platta Law Firm will be by your side every step of the way.
Get Medical Treatment
This is your primary responsibility after getting hurt on the job in New York City. Get to the emergency room immediately so that there’s a record of your injury that can be linked to your workplace accident. Your doctor must complete Form C-4, the Doctor’s Initial Report, and send it to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) within 48 hours of treatment.
Call a Workers Comp Lawyer
Once you’ve obtained medical treatment call The Platta Law Firm. We’ll deal with your insurance company and give you time to rest.
Report the Accident to Your Employer
Technically, you have 30 days to notify your employer about your accident and injury. However, it’s important to let them know as soon as you can. Your employer should provide with you a Claimant Information Packet, which will contain important information and documents related to filing a claim for benefits.
Employer Reports Injury to Workers’ Compensation Board
Once your employer knows about your on-the-job injury, they’ll have 10 days to notify their insurance company and the WCB. This step is necessary if you require more than simple first aid treatment or miss at least one full day of work.
Workers’ Compensation Board
The Workers’ Compensation Board sends Written Notice of Rights. Within 14 days of receiving notice from your employer, the WCB must send you a written statement concerning your legal rights.
Claim Form C-3
File a Claim for Benefits With Employee Claim Form C-3. Form C-3 will be in the packet your employer provided when you told them about your accident. This form is your claim for benefits and must include your name, your position of employment, details about your injury, and whether you’ve gotten medical treatment. You must file Form C-3 with the WCB within two years of your workplace accident.
Workers’ Compensation Board Review
Workers’ Compensation Board Reviews Claim For Benefits. The WCB should already know about your injury by the time they get your Claim for Benefits. Once it’s received, they’ll review to determine if you qualify for benefits and, if so, how much.
Receive Payments When Claim is Approved
If you’re out of work for more than 7 days, you should begin to receive payment for lost time immediately. You should get a benefits check every two weeks until you reach MMI, are able to return to work at the same capacity, or the benefits period expires. The insurance company must notify the WCB when payments begin.
If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
If the insurance company denies your claim, it must notify the WCB and explain the reason for the denial.
Argue Your Case at a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
When a claim is disputed or denied, a hearing in front of a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge will be held to determine whether or not benefits are appropriate. 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 on your behalf. The judge will hear from you and the insurance company and then make a decision regarding your claim.
Appeal the Judge’s Decision if Your Claim is Denied
If your claim is denied at the hearing, you’ll have up to 30 days to file an appeal. If your application for appeal is approved, a three-member panel with the Workers’ Compensation Board will consider your argument. Note that the insurance company can appeal the judge’s decision, too. The claims process can be highly contested and, in some cases, disputes can take considerable lengths of to resolve. It is important to make sure that you’re represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer near you in NYC.
Your lawyer will make sure you satisfy all procedural requirements, handle negotiations with claims adjusters and the WCB, represent you at your WCB hearing, and file any appeals, if necessary. This will set you up to get the best possible result.
New York Workers’ Compensation FAQ
It’s normal to have a lot of questions as you begin to consider a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. We’ve taken the time to answer some of the questions we get asked most frequently. If you still have questions or want to know more, don’t hesitate to give our New York City personal injury lawyers a call at (212) 514-5100. We’re here to help you navigate these stressful, difficult days. Your first consultation is free, so contact our law office in Manhattan today.
What’s a Job-Related Injury?
To qualify for workers’ compensation, you must be a covered employee and suffer a work-related injury or illness. Job-related means that your injury is a direct result of the execution of your responsibilities at work. You don’t necessarily need to be hurt at work for your injury to qualify.
For instance, if part of your job involves driving and you’re involved in a NYC car accident while you’re on the clock, then benefits would be available. Your employer’s insurer may try to argue that your injury isn’t job-related. Having an attorney ready to fight back against these claims can help to protect you and your right to recover compensation.
Can I Collect Workers’ Comp as a City or New York State Employee?
Maybe. Some city and state employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes Correction Officers, EMTs, State Police Officers, and more. Others, including employees of the NYPD and NYFD, may not qualify for benefits. An experienced attorney can help you understand what legal options for financial recovery are available to you if you’ve suffered a job-related injury or occupational illness.
Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Provide Job Security?
Sadly, there is no job protection under workers’ compensation. However, employers are prohibited from firing you if it’s because of a disability. You may qualify for protection under the American Disability Act or other employee protection laws. What Are the Best Workers’ Compensation Cases? There are three types of cases that tend to result in high payouts for injured workers:
Schedule loss of use 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. Our workers’ comp lawyers will tell you to maximize your benefits in this type of case.
Loss of wage earning capacity cases result from injury to your systemic areas such as head, back, or neck. You must be out of work due to your injury in these cases. Also, a workers’ comp attorney will be able to help you decide if this scenario fits your injuries.
Section 32 (settlement) 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.
Can I File a Claim if my Injury Happened Over a Period of Time?
Yes. You don’t have to be involved in one identifiable accident to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You can also file a claim if you’ve: sustained a repetitive motion injury, or been diagnosed with an occupational disease or illness. You might develop a repetitive motion injury if your job involves a lot of typing, drilling, or squatting. Doing these activities repeatedly can put a strain on your body and result in an injury. Occupational diseases can develop when you’re exposed to hazardous chemicals or substances like asbestos or lead.
Many people presume that these injuries are related to health or activity outside of work, but they could be directly related to their job. If you feel that you have developed injuries from repetitive work activity, it is best to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in NYC to discuss and plan the best course of action.
How Much Time Does it Take for a wWorkers’ Comp Case to Settle?
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 your case can be resolved within six months of your work-related accident. A case can last longer than a year if continuous medical treatment is necessary.
Can I Get Paid for my Workers’ Compensation Injuries Regardless of my Work Status?
Yes, if you are working, you will be able to get paid for any injury as it relates to a schedule loss of use award. However, if you are out of work, your compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries plus vocational factors.
Am I Entitled to Workers’ Comp if I Change Jobs or Employers?
Yes. It doesn’t matter if you change employers after your injury, you still have the rights to workers’ comp benefits. After your injury is accepted and established, medical treatment will be covered. If you start a new job and make less money than before the injury, the insurance carrier will pay 2/3 of the difference between what you made weekly and the new weekly salary.
Can I Still Get Workers’ Comp if I’m Fired?
Yes, you are entitled to collect workers’ comp benefits even if your job lets you go. The insurance carrier will still cover your medical treatment costs. Weekly lost wages payments may change depending on employment and temporary disability status.
Can I Still Receive Treatment From my Doctors if I Close my Workers’ Comp Case?
It is possible for you to receive treatment from your doctors and for the insurance carrier to pay after your case is closed. If you receive an SLU award or get classified, the medical portion of your case is not closed. Medical treatment and payment are also an option if you only close the indemnity portion of your case. However, if you close your case completely, you will still be able to receive treatment from your doctors. Just keep in mind that you will be responsible for the payments from that point forward. Speak with your attorney immediately if you are concerned about medical coverage.
After my Injury, Can I Receive Medical Treatment From Any Doctor?
No, you must seek treatment from a doctor who takes New York state workers’ compensation insurance. NY workers’ compensation doctors are knowledgeable on how to fill out the proper forms, and are aware they cannot bill you for your visits. You are required to see a workers’ compensation doctor if you are, or will remain, out of work. Your weekly benefits are determined based on these medical reports. Each medical report is only valid for 90 days.
If I Return to Work for Less Money, Am I Still Eligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you are medically able to return to work but cannot perform the job you did prior to your injury, you may be entitled to reduced earnings. To qualify for reduced earnings, you must show proof of new pay, whether at the same employer or a different employer. Once your new pay is obtained, your attorney can file for a hearing to get you paid what is owed. Reduced earnings are 2/3 the difference between what you made prior to the injury and your new salary. A temporary rate is normally paid until the beginning of the following year when a W2 can be produced to show actual income.
Are Workers’ Comp Benefits Taxable?
No, workers’ comp benefits are not taxable. You never have to pay taxes for any occupational injury or sickness at a state or federal level. This applies for both wage loss benefits on a weekly basis and lump sum settlements.
Will my Immigration Status Affect my Workers’ Comp Claim?
No, you still qualify for New York State workers’ comp benefits regardless of your immigration status. You are also entitled to medical care after an accident. However, the requirements for collecting workers’ comp must be met for payment to be received.
Can I Appeal the Decision in my Workers’ Compensation Case?
Yes, you can appeal a decision made by the Judge at your workers’ comp hearing. There is a multi-level appeal process:
- First, your appeal goes to the Board Panel. This is a 3-person committee of board members who review the Judge’s decision.
- The next appeal goes to the full Board. The full board reviews the decision of the Board Panel.
- Finally, your case could go all the way to the New York State 3rd Department Appellate Division Court, located in Albany.
The appeals process is complicated and time-consuming. It’s not something you’ll want to try to navigate on your own, especially if you’re dealing with a catastrophic injury. The Platta Law Firm has decades of experience and success handling workers’ compensation appeals in New York. Call our law firm to discover how we can help you appeal your claim if you aren’t offered a fair benefits package.
Can the Money Paid by the Insurance Carrier While I Was Out of Work Affect my Settlement?
Yes, your initial wage loss payments can affect your settlement. This happens when you receive a schedule loss of use award. The insurance carrier can also take credit for all money previously paid for lost wages. The carrier does not take credit for prior payments in either loss wage and earning capacity cases or if a Section 32 agreement is reached.
Can I Collect Workers’ Comp After Testing Positive for COVID-19?
You can file a workers’ compensation claim if you catch COVID-19 at work. Certain employers such as departments within the City of New York have accepted COVID-19 cases without issue. Private employers on the other hand give more pushback for acceptance of a workers’ compensation claim. In most cases, an injured worker will need to show medical proof that COVID-19 was contracted at work. Typically, this can be achieved by getting a note from your doctor. As with other types of work-related injuries or illnesses, you must put your employer on notice and file your claim within 30 days.
What is a Workers’ Comp Lien Reduction?
First, it’s important to understand what a lien is. A lien is a legal right to property or an asset. If you’re awarded workers’ compensation benefits and file a third-party lawsuit, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will file a lien to recover the benefits you were paid.
That means that the insurance carrier would be entitled to a portion of your financial settlement or award. This is why it can be critical to hire an experienced NYC workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you after a work-related injury. Our attorneys always seek to negotiate a lien reduction with the workers’ comp insurance carrier.
Lien reduction means an increased personal injury settlement in the civil lawsuit, payable to our clients. Our law firm will also seek to reduce a workers’ comp lien, even if doing so means no further attorney fee for us on the case. The interest of our clients always comes first!
What are Common Mistakes That Can Destroy my Workers’ Comp Claim?
Make the most of your case by being honest, documenting what happened, and enlisting the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New York City immediately after you get hurt. Here are a few mistakes that can really hurt your ability to recover benefits:
- Failure to report the incident and injury within 30 days of the date of the damage
- Failure to timely file a workers’ comp claim within two years of the date of the injury
- Lying to your doctors and/or NYC workers’ compensation attorney
- Not reporting prior injuries that involved the same body parts as claimed in the current claim
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Contact The Platta Law Firm if you have recently been hurt or been diagnosed with a work-related illness in New York City. Our New York workers’ compensation lawyers can help you file a successful claim for benefits. We have over a century of experience and have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Put yourself in the best position to win your case. Get our law firm in your corner. Call (212) 514-5100 for a free consultation now. Our team is standing by 24 hours a day to help.