Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Attorney
In almost all circumstances, if you are a worker in Brooklyn, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation insurance benefits at no cost to you. This is true even if you are a part-time employee or a family member of the owner of the company.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical and costs associated with work-related injuries or illnesses and, if your injury or illness is serious enough, pays cash disability benefits while you recover from your injuries. Specifically, employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for any injury “arising out of and in the course of employment” or from a disease the employee contracted during the performance of his or her job responsibilities.
Work injuries are absolutely preventable, and yet they still happen when employers cut corners or fail to address hazards and unsafe working conditions. Injuries employees suffer on the job can range in severity from minor to permanent disability. Some require long-term absences from work; others may only cause an employee to miss hours or a day or two.
Depending on the severity, injured employees may receive cash disability benefits in addition to the payment of their medical costs. Families of fatally-injured employees or those who succumb to terminal illnesses can receive death benefits intended to cover funeral and burial costs as well as the loss of the income the deceased employee would have provided to the family.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Attorneys have helped injured workers for over 40 years. Members of our team make their homes in Brooklyn, and our firm takes pride in helping people in our community receive the benefits they deserve when they sustain a work-related injury or illness. Reach out to us if you have been hurt on the job.
“Great experience with skilled legal individuals that know what they are doing.” -Nesha G.
The Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
The first thing you should do immediately after you have been injured on the job or become aware that you have contracted an illness at work is to report your injury or illness to your employer. If you require emergency care, it is of course acceptable to report your injury after you deal with the emergency.
If your injury is not an emergency, after your report, you should seek appropriate medical help. Your initial report doesn’t need to be in writing, but you do have to follow up in writing within 30 days of your injury. Your report should include the date, time, nature of your injury/illness, and where on the premises it occurred. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you write your report.
Filing Your Bronx Workers’ Compensation Claim
After you have notified your employer of your injury and sought medical care, file a claim with the New York Workers Compensation Board (“the Board”). You can file a claim online, visit your local Board office, or mail in a paper form. Follow the instructions for any of those options here.
Do not put off filing your claim. You are required to file a claim within two years of the date of your injury or from the date you realize or should have realized your injury or illness was caused at work or in the course of performing your work duties. If you fail to file within this two-year deadline, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company can deny your claim and you will not receive the compensation you deserve, so file as soon as you possibly can. In addition to complying with the law, filing as soon as you can will start the process and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible.
After You File Your Claim
Reporting your injury to your employer starts the clock running on certain responsibilities your employer has with respect to your injury. Within ten days of receiving an employee’s injury report, the employer must report the injury to both the Board and its insurance company. It is always a good idea to follow up with your employer to make sure someone has actually reported your injury. If that hasn’t happened, you can file a complaint with the Board and your employer can be subject to significant financial penalties—$1,000 for each instance of noncompliance and a second penalty of up to $2,500 if the employer fails to comply.
The employer’s insurance company, upon receipt of the employer’s report of a work-related injury, is required to provide a written description to the employee of his or her rights under New York workers’ compensation law. The company has an obligation to send this statement to the employee within 14 days of its receipt of the report from the employer or with the first check it sends to the injured employee, whichever is earlier.
If the employee is eligible to receive cash benefits in addition to medical benefits, the employer’s insurance carrier must begin making these weekly payments within 18 days and inform the employee that payments will be made. The insurance company may deny the employee’s claim for a variety of reasons, some of which are legitimate and others which are not.
Whether it begins payments or to denies the claim, the company must notify the Board. After the initial payment, insurance companies are obligated to continue making cash benefit payments every two weeks. In addition, the insurance company, after 12 weeks post-accident, must evaluate the employee’s need for rehabilitation treatment.
Healthcare providers also have obligations under New York’s workers’ compensation laws. The initial treating physician must provide a report of the injured worker’s injuries to the District Office and then provide copies to the employee/its insurance provider and the employee. If the employee requires care beyond initial treatment, the physician must report on the worker’s progress every 45 days.
Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Each workers’ compensation claim is unique. Depending on the seriousness of the employee’s injury and degree of disability, New York law allows injured workers to receive a couple of different types of benefits.
All employees are entitled to payment of the costs of their medical care from the date of injury until they have recovered from it. You should always keep in mind that, except for emergency care required to immediately treat the injury, an insurance company or employer may dictate to injured workers both the specific health care provider as well as the medical facility an employee may use to receive care for his or her injuries or illness.
These restrictions apply not only to the care necessary to treat the initial injury, including diagnostic tests and surgeries, but also the pharmacies at which employees may have their prescriptions filled. If the insurance company contracts with one of the State Health Department’s Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPOs, it may require an employee to receive his or her initial non-emergency care from a PPO physician or facility.
After 30 days from the initial treatment, however, an employee may receive treatment by any authorized provider, even if the provider is not part of the PPO. To ensure that the PPOs have sufficient capacity to treat workers’ compensation patients, they are required to have two different providers in each specialty and to operate in at least two hospitals.
Cash Disability Payments
Insurance companies are required to pay cash disability payments on a weekly basis to employees whose illness or disability from an injury lasts more than seven days. The maximum benefit an injured worker is eligible may not exceed a state-established maximum which is adjusted on an annual basis. The amount of cash disability benefits an employee may receive is figured at 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly salary over the last year, multiplied the percentage of disability the injury has caused the injured worker.
When an injured worker can return to a job, but only to one that does not pay as much as the employee was making before the accident, the worker may be eligible to receive weekly cash benefits that make up 2/3 of the difference between the two wages.
Some injuries result in a worker’s permanent disability. The State’s Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) is used to determine an employee’s loss of earning power as a result of a permanent impairment of a body part due to a work-related injury. SLU awards are paid for a permanent injury to a worker’s hearing, foot, toes, leg, fingers, hand, eyesight, arms, or because of serious disfigurement to the face, neck, or scalp.
Employees are only eligible for an SLU award after they have reached their maximum medical improvement, their MMI. This means that he or she has 1) recovered from the injury to the greatest extent medically possible 2) the treating physician has submitted a medical report to the Board stating the employee has reached the MMI along with the employee’s percentage of disability and 3) the employee, due to his or her work injury, has a permanent loss of function in the injured body part.
The period of time for which an injured employee is eligible for weekly cash disability payments is set by statute and ranges from 15 weeks for the loss of a fourth finger, all the way up to 312 weeks for the total loss of an arm.
Some preventable work accidents result in the death of the employee. In these tragic cases, the injured worker’s family members are entitled to weekly death benefits under New York workers’ compensation law. Not all family members may file for death benefits. New York law limits these benefits to actual dependents, including the deceased employee’s spouse, children, and others who live in his or her household who were financially dependent on the employee.
Death benefits are paid weekly at the rate of 2/3 of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for the year immediately before the employee’s death and are also subject to the state weekly maximum.
In addition to weekly death benefits, the family of a deceased employee may receive after the work-related death of a family member, his or her family can also receive up to $12,500 for funeral and burial expenses in metro New York counties.
Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Workers’ compensation is a valuable benefit when you suffer serious harm on the job. But the path toward receiving these benefits is often paved with forms, denials, and appeals. Fighting for the compensation you deserve is where a Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer can help you. A serious, tragic workplace injury results in enough stress for you and your family without having to deal with a bureaucratic insurance company.
The following frequently asked questions regarding workers’ compensation provide important information about the claims process. If you experienced a traumatic workplace accident and are having difficulty with your workers’ compensation claim, seek legal representation. Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Brooklyn workers’ compensation attorneys for a free case evaluation today.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides financial protection for employees who suffer job-related injuries or occupational illnesses. It is a type of insurance that is government-mandated for employers.
A typical workers’ compensation claim pays:
- A weekly percentage of employee’s pre-injury salary;
- Medical costs associated with the injury or illness; and
- Survivor benefits if an employee dies.
The type of compensation you may receive depends upon the specifics of your accident or illness. Navigating the process of your claim —and its possible denial —is difficult to manage alone. A workers’ compensation lawyer can manage your claim and potential appeal on your behalf.
What are some common types of workplace injuries in Brooklyn?
You trust your employer to maintain a safe working environment. But when something goes wrong, it can change your life forever.
The following injuries account for 84 percent of all non-fatal workplace injuries:
- Overexertion and bodily reaction: Lifting, pushing, repetitive motion, or other physical stress or strain.
- Slips, trips, and falls: Injuries from tripping over objects or from falling from a high surface such as scaffolding.
- Contact with objects and equipment: A moving object striking, crushing, or trapping a worker.
These are just a few examples of common workplace injuries. The National Safety Council also lists exposure to harmful substances or environments as an additional common contributing factor in workers’ compensation claims.
No matter how your injury occurred, failed safety measures may make your employer liable for your harm. Poor training, defective equipment, and other serious mistakes are inexcusable when it causes someone unnecessary harm.
The workplace injury you suffered may require an extensive and lengthy recovery. In the event of an especially catastrophic injury, the results are often permanent. Examples of an especially devastating workplace injury are a paralyzing spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury that disrupts normal brain function.
If your day at work turned into a life-altering tragedy, legal representation can help protect you moving forward. A denial of your worker’s compensation claim is possible and having a lawyer on your side is invaluable for protecting your best interests when it does.
When do I inform my employer of my injury or illness?
If you experience a workplace injury or illness, seek medical attention immediately. Worker’s compensation laws are state-specific; New York allows you to select a doctor of your choosing. Inform the medical professional treating you that your condition relates to a workers’ compensation case.
The doctor responsible for your care must complete a Form C-4, a preliminary medical report, and submit the report and a copy to:
- The district office of the state workers’ compensation board;
- Your employer; and
- You, for your files.
Your doctor must submit the report within 48 hours. Once you seek medical attention and inform your employer, you must submit an official claim with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the injury or illness.
The steps you take immediately following your injury —or the moment you develop symptoms of illness—are critical to your case. Delaying medical treatment or the submission of required forms may prevent you from receiving any compensation.
Do not miss your chance to secure the benefits you need and deserve. If you feel overwhelmed by your situation, contact us.
What happens if the board denies my Brooklyn workers’ compensation claim?
You may receive notification of denial for your claim. There are several reasons why the Worker’s Compensation Board may deny a claim; for example, they may not believe there is enough proof that the injury or illness occurred at the workplace.
Whatever the reason for a denial, you can generally appeal the decision.
The process typically involves:
- A review of the decision by the Board Examiners and Conciliators is the first step. If this is unsuccessful in settling the matter, the next step is a hearing before a Workers’ Compensation Judge.
- Each side has 30 days to appeal the Judge’s decision. Three Board members will consider the Judge’s decision. If necessary, the matter will go before the full Workers’ Compensation Board.
- In particularly contested appeals, a claim may go before the New York Supreme Court.
The sooner we receive your case, the sooner we can get to work on your behalf. Workers’ compensation cases involve multiple and important details. Reviewing your information to prepare the best claim possible takes time. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, now before any deadlines expire.
My loved one died after a fall at a Brooklyn worksite. Does workers’ compensation apply?
If you lost a loved one due to a fall or other deadly accident at work, you may qualify for survivor’s benefits. While filing a claim is not often simple, workers’ compensation is even more complex to navigate when an accident results in death.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, falls are among the top four causes of fatal construction accidents. New York scaffolding laws hold employers and property owners liable in a scaffolding accident.
The law addresses liability regarding safety issues with not just scaffolding but also:
- Hoists; and
High-rise construction projects are a constant sight throughout Brooklyn. Painting, cleaning, and repairing high-rise buildings requires a commitment to safety for those conducting the work.
A fall from scaffolding can result in a traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, or other harm from which a victim may not recover. The sudden loss of your loved one due to a workplace accident can leave you without companionship and income.
The financial impact of an unexpected death can greatly impact your income. The costs associated with your loved one’s death may include such expenses as funeral and burial costs and final medical expenses related to their death. And a loss of household income can affect your ability to pay new and everyday expenses. Compensation through workers’ compensation is possible and worth fighting for. While each claim is different, pursuing the important benefits offered through the program is your right.
If your close loved one died in a tragic fall from scaffolding or a similar device, the team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can help you. Contact them today to learn if pursuing survivor benefits from workers’ compensation is the best option for you.
How can I help my Brooklyn workers’ compensation claim?
While your injuries, illness, or the death of a loved one may consume your time, you can do some things to help your lawyer. Proving them with detailed information can assist them as they work on your claim.
Important information and evidence include:
- Photos and video of the accident scene;
- Contact information for those who witnessed the accident;
- Information regarding your (or your loved one’s) employer;
- Medical reports regarding your accident injuries;
- Medical expenses for your injuries; and
- Receipts for other expenses associated with the accident.
Inform your employer of your accident; however, refrain from discussing your claim with other employees. A pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits requires proving that your injuries occurred when, where, and how you state they did. A denial of your claim can easily stem from misinformation, an incomplete form, or another easily preventable mistake. Guarding the details of your workers’ compensation claim can protect your chances for compensation and possibly prevent a denial of your claim.
Can I afford a Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer?
A workplace accident that results in major life changes is a frightening time for anyone. The time immediately following such an event is one of stress and confusion.
Seeking legal representation may cross your mind, along with concerns regarding legal fees. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we collect no fee unless and until we secure compensation for you.
A serious workplace accident is not fair and not easy. Your injuries may bring an end to your career or result in the permanent loss of a loved one.
Workers’ compensation can help you through this difficult time—if you complete the process in a timely and correct manner. But the aftermath of a construction or other occupational accident can leave you no time for paperwork, phone calls, or other aspects of your claim. An experienced legal team can work on your behalf to ensure you have the best chance possible of receiving compensation. Medical costs and lost wages likely cause you significant stress. When the accident was due to negligence, you cannot afford to not contact an attorney.
It is impossible to predict the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim. If your case requires an appeal, the process takes time and requires patience. Committing to your fight is just one of the ways Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, helps its clients. We require no retainer or deposit to get to work for you.
How can Jacoby & Meyers, LLP help me fight for the Brooklyn workers’ compensation package I deserve?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is your right when you sustain workplace injuries. If a loved one never returned home from a day at work, filing a survivor’s claim is another right that may apply to your situation.
The process can overwhelm anyone. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we understand how workplace accidents affect victims and their families. Our friendly and caring approach can help ease your mind as we learn more about your case. We firmly believe in strong communication with our clients. If you hire Jacoby & Meyers, LLP to represent you, we will consistently provide information about your claim’s progress.
While the workers’ compensation process is often a lengthy one, our team works hard to quickly secure compensation for our clients. The pressure you may feel due to mounting medical costs and an inability to work is stressful. Ensuring that your workers’ compensation claim is on the best path possible to accessing your benefits is where we can help you.
Start to Finish: Jacoby & Meyers, LLP Stands by Workers Injured on the Job
Seeking immediate medical attention for your injury is your top priority. Your next priority is to hire a Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer that will fight for you. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP stand ready to start with your free case evaluation today.
The uncertainty of your future can weigh heavily on your mind as you recover from your injuries or mourn your loved one. You are not alone during this difficult time. Your frustration is understandable, yet you should not handle a workers’ compensation case on your own —it is simply too important to risk.
Pursuing justice through workers’ compensation is possible as it may call attention to important and needed job site changes. A company may no longer cut safety corners to protect profits rather than people.
We take great pride in helping Brooklyn workers fight for the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you suffered a traumatic workplace injury or lost a close loved one, let us help you. Time is of the essence, so do not delay contacting us for a free case evaluation. Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP now.
How Our Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You
As you can see, navigating the New York workers’ compensation process can seem daunting. A worker faces off against both their employer as well as the employer’s insurance company. Disputes can arise between the employee and the treating physician over whether the employee has reached MMI or a certain percentage of permanent disability. Injured employees almost always benefit from having help and guidance in this process from a skilled, experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who knows the law and has handled similar cases in the past.
If your claim is denied by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company, the law provides for an appeals process. If your case is not resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to both parties, the process can involve five different stages, including taking the case to New York state courts. Understanding the legal requirements, the law, and the workings of each stage in the process is critically important to achieving a just result in your case.
Contact the Brooklyn Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
Here at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our Brooklyn personal injury lawyers have demonstrated our commitment to helping our neighbors receive the maximum monetary benefit they’re entitled to under the law since we opened our offices. Over the years, we have established a proven track record of success for our clients.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have another asset we can use when facing a particularly thorny or complicated Social Security disability or workers’ compensation case—a sister firm with more than half a century of focusing on helping injured workers like you. At https://www.foalaw.com/, you can see how we can benefit from that partnership, and how that might benefit you.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or if your loved one lost their life at work, contact us as soon as possible for your free case evaluation. When you call us any time at (877) 565-2993 you will never have to schedule your evaluation for a later time. We provide immediate case evaluations so that you know right away the best way to proceed in your case. We are also available online and via live chat, so get in touch today and start your case off on the right foot.
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