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Workers’ Compensation Lawyer NY

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer NY

Workers' Compensation Lawyer NY

If you were recently injured at work in New York, you should get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer in NY. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries. A lawyer can help you file a claim and protect your legal rights.

What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation

Not many people expect to go to work and suffer an injury. Unfortunately, however, this can happen in just about any work environment. Here are some important things you should know about workers’ compensation:

  • You Have to Report Your Injury Soon: A common mistake injured workers make is waiting too long to tell their employer about their injury. In the state of New York, you only have 30 days to report your injury to your boss. After that deadline has passed, you will no longer be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
  • You Can Be at Fault and Still Receive Benefits: Some workers shy away from filing for workers’ compensation benefits if the accident was their fault. However, you can be at fault and still qualify for benefits. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall accident because you weren’t paying attention to where you were going, you’re still eligible to receive compensation. 
  • You Don’t Have to Get Injured at Your Physical Workplace to Receive Benefits: It’s possible to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you didn’t suffer your injury at your physical workplace. For instance, if you got into a car accident while running errands for your boss, you may still be eligible for benefits.
  • You Don’t Have to Pay Your Lawyer Anything Upfront: Unfortunately, some workers are reluctant to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in NY because they assume they can’t afford the legal fees. However, it just so happens that most of these lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means that your lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement at the end.
  • It’s Illegal for an Employer to Retaliate Against You for Filing for Benefits: If your employer has cut your pay, demoted you, or terminated you for filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you should let your lawyer know immediately. It’s against the law for employers to retaliate against their workers just for filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • You’ll Have to See Your Employer’s Doctor First: If you get injured at work, your employer will most likely require you to see a doctor of their choosing. However, if you don’t agree with this doctor’s assessment, you can request to get a second opinion.

Can My Workers’ Comp Claim Be Denied?

In the majority of work injury cases, the injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Most employers in New York are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that injured employees will have all their medical expenses, wages, and other benefits covered should they be unable to work while they recover from their injury, or their injury leaves them permanently disabled and unable to work at all. However, an employer can deny a job injury claim. When this occurs, it can be stressful and overwhelming for the injured worker and their family and they may be unsure how to proceed.

If an employer denies a worker’s injury claim, they must provide the reason in writing. The following are some of the most frequent reasons why claims are denied in the cases that each workers’ compensation lawyer, in NY from our firm handles:

  •       The employee did not report the injury/incident within the required time: Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws and its own requirements. In New York, an injured worker has 30 days to report the injury to their employer, however, it is best for a worker not to wait the 30 days and report the injury as soon as possible because if the 30 days lapses, their claim can and likely will be denied.
  •       The injury did not occur in the workplace: Typically, only injuries that occur at work are covered under workers’ comp, however, there are occasions where an employee is injured off the job site, but the injury is still work-related. One example is if a worker was performing an errand for their employer, such as picking up office supplies at a store, and they were injured in a car accident while driving to the store. An employer may try to deny the claim by saying the injury did not occur at the workplace, but a seasoned NY workers’ compensation lawyer would be able to win a case like that on appeal.
  •       The employee caused the injury to occur: An employer may try to deny the claim if they think the employee was responsible for the injury. However, workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault, meaning that even if the employee did something that resulted in their injuries, they are still entitled to benefits. The only exception to that rule is if the employee was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or they intentionally caused the injury in order to gain workers comp benefits.

If your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Just because your employer denied your claim, does not mean that you should not even bother with an appeal. In fact, with a NY workers’ compensation lawyer advocating for you, you have a strong chance of winning on appeal, depending on the circumstances of your case.  

Call Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy today to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in NY today. 

Do’s and Dont’s of Filing of Workers Compensation Claim

A workers compensation lawyer in NY offers helpful advice to ensure injured workers get the financial and medical support they need to pay their bills and living expenses while they recover. An experienced lawyer can offer helpful do’s and don’ts to maximize critical benefits.

Do Seek Immediate Medical Care

The team at Hurwitz, Witcher, & Molloy LLP recommends getting a medical evaluation as soon as possible following an injury at work. A medical professional can look for signs of potential complications that may manifest over subsequent days.

Do Report The Injury To Your Employer

Many individuals do not report injuries to their employers because they worry about retaliation or believe their discomfort will resolve quickly. However, a report ensures that an employer files the appropriate workers’ compensation paperwork for employees to receive benefits they may not realize they need.

Do Obtain Eyewitness Accounts

When an accident occurs, witness testimony can facilitate a claim. For example, a NY workers’ compensation lawyer can submit indisputable witness statements when insurers attempt to deny claims.  

Do File A Claim Immediately

Immediately informing an employer about an accident will eliminate an insurer’s argument that a resulting injury is not severe enough to warrant a legitimate claim. In most states, insurers must receive injury-related paperwork between 30 and 45 days from the date of an accident.

Do Collect Medical Documents

Injured workers should collect all medical records relating to their injuries. A workers compensation lawyer in NY can review a doctor’s evaluation, prognosis, and treatment plan for details that an insurance adjuster will require.

Don’t Rush Back To Work

Injured employees should avoid returning to work before they are ready. Taking the appropriate time to heal from work-related injuries can prevent long-term complications.

Don’t Speak With Insurance Adjusters

A workers compensation lawyer in NY handles all communication with insurers. For example, the Hurwitz, Witcher, & Molloy LLP team knows how to counter adjusters’ tactics for reducing claim payments and obtaining appropriate damages for their clients. 

Don’t Sign Releases

Insurance adjusters try to prove that pre-existing conditions are responsible for workers’ injuries. Therefore, workers should decline requests to sign a medical release to prevent insurers from looking for evidence that challenges their claims. 

Don’t Discuss With Others

Injured workers should avoid discussing their injury cases with insurance company representatives. Instead, injured workers should only discuss their condition with their doctors, lawyers, or spouse.

Don’t Settle Prematurely

A workers compensation lawyer in NY usually recommends that workers decline insurers’ initial low settlement offers.

Do's and Dont's of Filing of Workers Compensation Claim

The lawyers at Hurwitz, Witcher, & Molloy LLP can negotiate with adjusters to obtain settlements that meet their clients’ medical and living expenses.

Ask a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NY: Must My Employer Pay Workers’ Compensation if I Become Injured While Working From Home?

Up until last year, few employees were granted the luxury of working from home. Then came the pandemic. Thousands of employers were required to allow millions of employees to work from home so as not to spread Covid-19. 

Today, thousands of employees still work from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. If you’re one of them, what happens if you become injured while working? Will your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan still cover you? 

In most cases, the answer is yes. While workers’ compensation laws, rules and regulations vary from state to state, in most states you’re still covered as long as you’re still an active employee, simply working at home because of the pandemic mandates or other valid reasons. Consult a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York from Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy to see which laws, rules, and regulations apply in your case.

Work-related Injuries

As you already probably know, workers’ compensation covers the following things:

  • Your medical expenses if you become injured on-the-job
  • Part of your lost wages while recuperating
  • Disability benefits if your injury permanently disables you

The key here is that you must sustain a work-related injury for workers’ compensation to kick in. Most states do not allow you to file a claim if, for example, your injuries were the result of a traffic accident you were involved in while driving to or from work. For specific questions relating to your situation, it’s best to consult a local workers’ compensation lawyer, such as the lawyers at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy. 

What this means in a work-from-home environment is that there’s a good possibility that you might not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation for every possible injury you may sustain. Consider the following that could happen while you’re working:

  • You head to the kitchen to refill your coffee cup, but trip over your cat in the hallway, falling and breaking your leg.
  • In your hurry to answer your doorbell while barefoot (your new corporate attire), you step on one of your child’s toys and sprain your ankle.
  • You climb up onto a chair to adjust the ceiling fan above your work station, lose your balance and sustain a traumatic brain injury when your head hits the floor.

Can you file a workers’ compensation claim for any of these injuries? You can try, but in all likelihood your claim will be denied. Why? Because while there’s no question that you sustained these injuries while working from home, none of them occurred when you were actually performing your job duties. In other words, what you were doing was ancillary to your work, similar to injuries that you sustain while commuting to and from work. Consequently, your employer probably won’t have to pay your work comp claim. Talk to a NY workers’ compensation lawyer from Hurwitz, Witcher, & Molloy today to see if your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation.

What if My Injuries Occurred While I Was Traveling?

It is important to understand that the “where” of an injury doesn’t really matter for the purposes of a workers’ compensation claim. While off-site injuries may be harder to prove—and may be more frequently called into question by claims adjusters—the only qualifying criteria that “counts” for the purposes of benefits is whether you were engaged in work-related activities when the harm occurred. If you drive for a living and were involved in a motor vehicle accident while you were on the clock and you are otherwise eligible for benefits, you should file a claim. Similarly, if you were participating in mandatory work-related travel (running an errand at your boss’s request, traveling en route to a mandatory work function, etc.), you should be eligible to file a claim.

With that said, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced NY workers’ compensation lawyer from Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy about your situation before filing a claim if your harm occurred while you were traveling. Offsite injury occurrences do tend to result in particularly complex claims processes. As a result, our NY workers’ compensation lawyer team likes to be proactive about helping to ensure that injured workers are paid fairly valued settlements in a prompt manner.

Can I Also File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you’ve been hurt on the job, those invested in your wellbeing may be encouraging you to sue those responsible for causing your harm. This may also be true if you have been exposed to substances on the job that have made you sick. It is important to understand that employers are generally insulated from legal liability in the event that their workers who are eligible for workers’ compensation suffer job-related harm. This means that if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you can sue others responsible—partially or totally—for your harm, but you can’t sue your employer. As far as your employer is concerned, you can only collect your workers’ compensation benefits award. If you are unsure of how these general rules may apply to your situation, know that the team at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy is more than happy to clarify this issue for you.

Why You Need to Seek Medical Help for Work-Related Injuries 

Going to the doctor’s office can be a hassle. Especially when you are coming back from work and you suffered from an injury, it can seem like one more inconvenient thing that you need to do when you get home. Surely, your injury will go away on its own and you will be fine and ready to return to work in a few days, right? If you are hoping to successfully file for any amount of workers’ compensation benefits, you may want to rethink whether you should avoid going to the doctor’s office. It may seem like your injuries are minor at the time, but they can be more severe than you think they are. 

Get the Timing Right

You may think that you will get around to seeing a doctor eventually, so you do not sweat whether you see them immediately following the accident or a few days later. However, a New York workers’ compensation lawyer knows that there is no better time than as soon as you can after the accident. Perhaps you did not fall and hit your head, but maybe you fell on your bottom, your arm, or your hip. These may seem like the safest areas to fall and you may not notice obvious signs of damage. However, a doctor may wish to use imaging scanners to determine if you sprained, fractured, or broke something without knowing it. A doctor will also help ensure you are not bleeding internally, something serious and life-threatening that may show no signs until it is too late. 

Why is this important to my claim? 

Seeking medical help is extremely important to your claim. You may be working with a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim and have truly been injured while you were working. However, this will be a tough sell for your employer’s insurance company when you submit your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance agents will not only be less sympathetic but may completely doubt that you were injured while working. They may even try to make a case that while you do have injuries, you could easily have received them from something unrelated to your job or before your accident at work. What should you do? 

  1. Seek medical help immediately. This means, if you are able, tell your supervisor what happened and leave work right after the accident happened.
  2. Tell your doctor that you were injured in a workplace accident so they know that you will be needing a detailed medical report. 
  3. Tell them of any symptoms you are experiencing and give them details regarding how the accident happened and how you became injured. 

Your workers’ compensation lawyer in New York knows that your medical records will be one of the most valuable pieces of evidence when it comes to your workers’ compensation claim. A doctor will help you recover to the best of your ability and will provide the necessary information for your claim. 

What to Ask Your Lawyer About Your Workers Compensation Case

The first time you meet with your workers compensation lawyer in NY, you may find that you leave with more questions than when you walked in. That’s OK. Your lawyer is there to support you and your case, and you should feel comfortable asking any questions about your case. Here are some common questions that you may want to start with.

What Documents Do I Need To Bring?

One of the most important questions you can ask is what documentation of your injury your lawyer needs. This may include incident reports from work, x-rays or diagnostic tests from your doctor, copies of prescriptions and appointments, and more. Once your lawyer gives you a list, do your best to bring everything with you at once. This may help speed up your case.

What Will the Process Be?

If you’ve never had to work with a workers compensation lawyer in NY before, you may not know what process your case will follow from beginning to end. It is perfectly all right for you to ask your lawyer to explain it to you. Remember that no two cases are alike, so doing internet research on your own may not give you the right information. Your lawyer at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy LLP may be able to give you a better and more detailed answer.

Will I Need to Appear in Court?

The idea of going to court can be nerve-wracking. Some workers may delay or even choose not to file a workers’ compensation claim because they don’t want to go to court. The good news is that you may not have to go to court. If your initial claim is accepted by your employer’s insurance company, there’s no need for a hearing or other court proceeding. If your claim is denied and you choose to appeal it, then you may need to appear in court during a hearing. Your workers compensation lawyer in NY may be able to give you more details on that process.

When Will I Get the Money?

Getting paid for your injury may be at the forefront of your mind, especially if you have medical bills piling up already. Your Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy LLP lawyer may be able to tell you when you can expect your payout once your claim is approved. Remember that most lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning that you’ll pay them for their services with a percentage of your final settlement. Many lawyers will handle accepting the settlement, take their fee, and then disperse the rest straight to you. That will let you get right to paying your bills and getting yourself back to full health.

What Will Your Lawyer Do? 

It is always important to get legal assistance for your workers’ compensation case. You need to make sure you are dealing with someone who knows about workers’ compensation and what kind of evidence you will need for your case. An experienced lawyer will not only be able to help better your chances of winning a case, but he or she will also likely be able to get much greater compensation than you would have on your own because a lawyer knows everything that you may be entitled to. Not only will your lawyer be able to best calculate the damages to have the greatest chance at getting good compensation, but your lawyer will also be able to help build your case. 

One of the most important things will be to collect evidence for your workers’ compensation case. Some of the most common things a lawyer will do include: 

  • Seek witnesses from the scene of the accident. If anyone witnessed your accident, they could be a valuable part of your testimony. It would be even better if a security camera captured the accident and can be reviewed in court. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will know whether something will hurt or help your case in court. 
  • Collecting evidence from the scene of the accident. This could include taking photos of the scene of the accident, taking a sample from it if the injuries sustained were from a chemical, or anything else that may remain at the scene of the accident that could help with your case. 
  • Get expert witnesses to testify on your behalf in court. This could be someone who has the same conditions that you have after being involved in the accident or a medical professional who can speak about the problems that you may face moving forward. Expert witnesses can be helpful in figuring out a good amount of compensation to seek in your case and will help the judge understand why you need compensation for your injuries. 

Your lawyer will want as much evidence as possible in order to strengthen your case. The more proof you have that negligence occurred and that your workplace was at fault in some way, the better chance you will have at winning your case. 

Proving Your Workplace Is at Fault for the Injuries Sustained

It is always crucial to prove fault in a personal injury case. This is also the case for a workers’ compensation injury. Your lawyer will want to collect evidence that shows some sort of negligence occurred to cause your injuries. This may be in the form of an action that harmed you or lack of taking action, which caused you to become injured.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have not yet scheduled a risk-free consultation with the experienced New York legal team at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, please do so today. Work-related injuries and illness are not insignificant occurrences. Even if the harm you have suffered is not catastrophic and even if you work in an industry in which you are encouraged to “suck it up” when you get hurt or sick, it is important to exercise your rights under the law when you suffer work-related harm. There is no reason why your family budget should be impacted by medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to your situation when you’re entitled to benefits that cover those costs. Please connect with our firm’s NY workers’ compensation lawyer team today to learn more about your options; we look forward to speaking with you.

 

Client Testimonials

As a disabled claimant, I can’t thank Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy enough for guiding me through these past fourteen years. No one else wanted my Workers’ Compensation case. No one! It was complicated. There were a lot of issues that made things difficult. They stuck with it well over a decade with preparedness, intelligence and grace. Mister Melvyn, he’s a good guy. Cathy, she’s so amazing.

- Salli B.

I became a client of the Hurwitz firm in May of 1997 due to injuries I received while I was a meat cutter at I. Isenberg Meats in Buffalo, New York. Since my first encounter with your firm and up until the present day, I have been entirely satisfied with the way your firm has treated me.

- William C.

Thank you for all you do throughout the year. I know I’m in the hands of the best compensation lawyers who really care!! God bless you all.

- Michelle A.

If you are injured at work and need a workers’ comp attorney, you need Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy. They are the ‘King Pins’ of all comp attorneys. You will be taken care of every step of the way. I am a very satisfied client!

- Richard B.