East Meadow Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When many people think of work, it is a place associated with productivity and security. Unfortunately, for some, this is not the case. Too many employees suffer injuries while on the job. If you are injured while on the job, acting in the scope of your employment, workers’ compensation insurance is responsible for paying for your injuries. In East Meadow, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board work injury handles claims.
Dealing with work-related injuries can be stressful and confusing, especially as you manage the logistical requirements of your workers’ compensation claim. Additional complexity can arise if there is any dispute about your status as an employee or independent contractor. If you or a loved one was injured while on the job in or around East Meadow, NY, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today or through our website for a free case evaluation. Our experienced team works with injured employees to secure recovery. We understand each case is unique and work with our clients to develop a recovery strategy that fits their needs.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP Get Results
The highly qualified team of East Meadow personal injury attorneys have a history of securing results for its clients. Notable recovers include the following on-the-job injuries:
- $2,000,000 settlement for a worker: Workers must be provided adequate safety equipment for the job they are performing, including fall protection devices for roofers. When a general contractor failed to provide a safety device for a worker, the worker suffered injury from a 25-foot fall to the ground. The owner and general contractor agreed to settle for $2 million before trial.
- $1,625,000 settlement for construction accident: A union carpenter fell from a beam onto concrete. The beam was unsecured and did not have an appropriate safety railing. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP secured a settlement for our client who sustained permanent and life-altering injuries in the fall.
These results are representative of the types of verdicts our team has secured for our clients. While there is never a guarantee of a specific recovery, our lawyers are committed to zealously advocating on behalf of each of our clients to help them secure the results they deserve.
Statistics on Employee Injuries
Any injury sustained by an employee while on the job is considered a workplace injury, including injuries from overexertion and repetitive motion as well as falls, transportation accidents, exposure to dangerous substances, burns, and machinery accidents.
In a recent year, New York private industry employers reported over 140,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Of these 140,000 injuries, over 80,000 were severe and required days away from work, job transfer, or work restriction. There were also approximately 60,400 injury and illness cases in the state and local government sector in New York, resulting in a rate of 6.4 cases per 100 full-time workers.
In addition to nonfatal injuries and illnesses, 73 workers suffered fatal injuries in New York in the same recent year. Contact with objects and equipment caused 19 fatal work injuries while falls, slips, and trips caused 17 fatalities. Combined, these two categories comprised 49 percent of New York workplace fatalities that year. Other common causes of fatalities were transportation incidents and exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Fatal workplace injuries in New York were most common in construction, followed by the specialty trade contractors, trade, transportation, utility, and transportation, and warehousing.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the mechanism for compensating employees who are injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation is insurance paid for by employers that provides cash benefits and medical care to workers suffering from injuries or illness as a direct result of their job.
After an injury or illness occurs on the job, the employee will file a claim with the employer’s insurance carrier. The Workers’ Compensation Board, a state agency, directs the insurance carrier to pay appropriate weekly cash benefits and for the employee’s medical care.
Workers’ compensation is unique because it is not a system for determining fault. The employee has no obligation to prove that the employer’s negligence caused the injury. A worker only loses rights to compensation if the injury was caused by the employee’s intoxication from drugs or alcohol or from an intent to injure themselves or others. Otherwise, the employee will receive payment as long as the injury was work-related.
Understanding Your Employer’s Responsibility
Any time you are injured while acting in your scope of duties as an employee, the employer is responsible for your medical costs as well as additional cash payments if it’s determined that you are partially or completely disabled. Workers’ compensation does not compensate the employee for injuries such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
The employer is not responsible under its workers’ compensation obligations if the injured individual is an independent contractor and not an employee.
- Employee: No single factor will determine whether an individual is an employee. The following factors all lean toward a finding that an individual is an employee:
- The employer determines when, where, and how services are performed
- Employer provides facilities, equipment, tools, and supplies
- The employee’s services are directly supervised
- Hours of work are set by the employer
- The services are performed exclusively for the employer
- The employer sets the rate of pay
- The employee is required to attend meetings or provide oral or written reports
- Work product is reviewed and approved by the employer
- The employer evaluates the job performance
- Permission is required for absences
- Independent Contractor: The primary signs that an individual is operating as an independent contractor are that they are free from supervision, direction, and control in the performance of their duties. An independent contractor is in business for themselves and offers their services to the public. Factors that indicate an individual is operating as an independent contractor include:
- Has an established business;
- Advertises their services to the public;
- Carries insurance;
- Maintains a place of business and investing in facilities, equipment, and supplies;
- Sets their own schedule;
- Sets or negotiates their pay rate;
- Is free to refuse work;
- May hire help in performing their services
For tax purposes, independent contractor payments are documented via a 1099 form, and employees are documented on a W2 form. The form of documentation, however, is not determinative of the individual’s status. Even if a 1099 form is issued, an evaluation of the relevant factors will determine whether they are an employee or an independent contractor.
Your lawyer will work with you to analyze your status as an employee or independent contractor and to evaluate the implications of this status on your ability to recover for your injuries.
5 Steps to File an East Meadow Workers’ Compensation Claim
The first thing you should do after any injury is to seek first aid or other necessary medical support. Emergency medical care can be administered by any provider. Subsequent medical care, however, must be provided by a health care provider authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
You must complete these important milestones.
- Notify the employer. After seeking any immediate medical care, notify your manager or supervisor about the injury as soon as possible. Put the notification in writing so there is no dispute whether you provided adequate notice. You are at risk of losing rights to workers’ compensation benefits if you fail to notify your employer within 30 days of the accident.
- Employer reports the injury. Within ten days of notification, the employer must report the injury to the Board and its insurance company.
- Contact from the insurer. Within 14 days of receipt of the injury notice, the insurer will provide the employer with notice of their rights as well as any required network for testing or other medical care. The insurer must pay benefits for lost time at work within 18 days of receipt of the notice if the amount of work missed by the employee exceeds seven days. If the insurer disputes the claim, it must notify the Workers’ Compensation Board and the injured individual.
- Continuous check-ins. You must check in throughout your recovery. Every two weeks, the insurer will make payments if nobody disputes the case. Every 45 days, your doctor must submit a form on your progress to the Board. After 12 weeks, the insurer will consider whether rehabilitation treatment is warranted for the injury.
- Employee files a claim. Even though the employer is responsible for reporting the injury, the employee must also file a claim with a Board District Office. Failure to file this form could result in a loss of benefits.
If the employer or workers’ compensation insurer disputes your claim, the typical cadence described above may not apply. If the insurer disputes the claim, the Board will attempt to resolve the issues. If this is not possible, a workers’ compensation law judge will hear testimony and review medical records and wages. The judge will determine the amount of award, but either side may appeal the judge’s determination. Any appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision.
Strictly comply with all workers’ compensation requirements to secure the maximum recovery. Our experienced last Meadow workers’ compensation lawyers can help you stay in compliance.
Understanding East Meadow Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When most individuals think about recovering after an accident, they imagine securing a lump sum payment to compensate for all their medical expenses and other injuries. The process for recovery under workers’ compensation is much more structured.
There are two primary categories of recovery:
- Medical Expenses. Unlike a non-work injury, you needn’t pay medical costs out-of-pocket after a work-related injury. The insurer will pay your medical expenses, but you must use medical care providers authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. In some situations, the insurer may require the patient to use certain providers.
- Cash Benefits. Many injuries require the employee to miss work or work a reduced schedule, resulting in lost wages. Any injury resulting in total or partial disability, rendering the employee unable to work for at least seven days, results in a cash benefit.
While it can seem helpful that there is a clear structure to workers’ compensation benefits, employees are at the discretion of the insurer and Workers’ Compensation Board. You may appeal the decisions of the board and insurer. An attorney is an important partner in securing your maximum workers’ compensation recovery. An attorney can also help you determine whether there is any path for recovery outside the workers’ compensation process.
East Meadow Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Injuries at work are all too common. In New York, there were over 140,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by New York private industry employers in a recent year. Of these injuries, over 80,000 were severe and required the employee to miss work, transfer jobs, or work restricted hours or duties. The state also recorded 60,400 injuries and illnesses in the state and local government sector in the same year.
Employees injured at work are entitled to covered medical expenses and recovery of cash benefits for partial or total disability through workers’ compensation. Securing workers’ compensation is a complicated process that can cause added stress to an employee dealing with an injury. Read on for answers to commonly asked questions after a work-related injury.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a state-run system that enables employees to secure a recovery for injuries or illnesses they suffered at work without filing a lawsuit. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board manages the system. Each employer has an insurance carrier that will pay out the required benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that the employee is not required to prove that the injury or illness occurred because of the negligence or fault of the employer. The fact that it occurred at work alone is enough for the employee to qualify for recovery. The employee doesn’t need to file a lawsuit but instead must notify the employer and file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Follow the filing and other requirements mandated by the employer, its insurer, and the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failure to follow the process might result in an unfair outcome. Contact an experienced attorney to help you navigate the administrative requirements or if workers’ comp denied your request for benefits.
What injuries are common at East Meadow workplaces?
The type or severity of an injury does not determine whether it qualifies for workers’ compensation recovery. All that matters is that the injury happened at work and wasn’t due to the employee’s intoxication or intentional attempt to injure themselves or others.
Certain injuries are more common than others, including:
- Injuries from repetitive motions;
- On-the-road injuries, especially common for delivery drivers, truck drivers, and sales workers;
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Contact with other objects or equipment;
- Machinery accidents;
- Burns from fires or explosions; and
- Exposure to harmful substances
In New York, the most common causes of workplace fatalities in one recent year included contact with objects and equipment, falls, slips, and trips, transportation incidents, and exposure to harmful substances or environments.
What should I do after getting injured at work in East Meadow?
First, secure any necessary emergency medical attention. Once you’ve taken care of your immediate medical needs, provide verbal and written notification to your employer of the injury. The employer is then responsible for notifying the insurer, who will contact you to coordinate your care and recovery of benefits.
Work with the insurer to understand any limitations on approved medical providers for additional medical care. The insurer must provide you this information within fourteen days of receiving notification of the injury, but you can and should seek this information out earlier if more immediate medical assistance is required.
You and your doctor must provide regular updates on the status of your recovery. The employee is also required to file a claim with a Board District Office to avoid a loss of benefits.
What type of recovery will I receive through the insurer?
Workers’ compensation will cover your medical costs and cash benefits if you must miss work because of partial or total disability.
- Medical expenses: You don’t need to pay your medical costs out-of-pocket and wait for recovery. The employer’s insurer pays your medical expenses directly, and the healthcare provider should not request any payment from the employee. Be sure to follow all requirements about using authorized providers.
- Cash benefits: Any employee whose injuries force them to miss work for at least seven days will receive a cash benefit. How long you receive cash benefits will depend on the extent of the injury. The Workers’ Compensation Board uses the following formula to determine the amount:
- Death benefit for survivors: If the accident was fatal, the employee’s surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and the estate are eligible to file for a survivor’s benefit. The extent of the recovery for each survivor depends on what other survivors exist. The death benefits also cover reasonable funeral and burial costs.
Unlike a traditional lawsuit, workers’ compensation doesn’t provide compensation for injuries like pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment. It is easy to feel like you have no control throughout the recovery process. A lawyer is an important partner to help you throughout the process and will advocate for your best interests.
What if my East Meadow workers’ compensation claim is denied?
Claims are often denied because of:
- Challenges to where the injury occurred;
- Evidence demonstrating that the injury was pre-existing or not work-related;
- A decision that you were an independent contractor and not an employee; and
- Errors in the wage replacement benefits
If the workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim, you may appeal the decision to the full board of workers’ compensation. The Appellate Division, Third Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York will hear subsequent appeals. You must file an appeal within 30 days of the decision.
What happens when I return to work?
You can return to work once your doctor determines it is safe to do so. Notify the Workers’ Compensation Board and insurance carrier when you return to work. Some employees return to their normal duties while others must perform reduced or light work duties.
Cash benefits will continue if your new pay rate is lower because of your disability and is called a “reduced earnings” benefit. Some employees will continue to receive medical care after returning to work and qualify for applicable medical and travel costs. If the employee must miss work for the work-related injury after a return, they qualify for “Intermittent Lost Time” recovery.
Is my employer required to hold my job for me?
Your employer is not required to keep your job open for you, but most employers do take injured workers back. Depending on the size of your employer’s company and how long you were employed, your employer may need to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
A lawyer can advise on the obligations of your employer while you are out managing a work-related injury.
Can I file a lawsuit against my employer?
Workers’ compensation is the most common path for recovery by employees after a workplace injury. Unless you can prove that the employer intentionally caused the injury or failed to carry adequate workers’ compensation insurance, workers’ compensation is your sole remedy. Proving an intentional act is very difficult and is not often pursued.
If you were acting as an independent contractor, you can’t secure workers’ compensation but can sue the responsible party.
Is the employer the only responsible party?
Depending on the facts surrounding your injury, another third party may have contributed to the circumstances that resulted in damage. You will pursue a non-employer through a personal injury lawsuit, not workers’ compensation.
Third parties who may have been involved and acted negligently include:
- An on-site contractor or subcontractor
- Property owner
- Manufacturer of defective equipment or toxic chemical
- Another driver who caused an accident
A lawsuit against a third party requires a showing of negligence before you can recover, but it also allows for the recovery of damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and future lost earning potential.
You can pursue a third-party lawsuit while also recovering under workers’ compensation. You can’t, however, double-dip on recovery. Any third-party compensation you received may reduce or reimburse the workers’ compensation you have received. For example, if you receive full recovery from a third party and 2/3 recovery through workers’ compensation, you might need to pay back the workers’ compensation benefits. If we take your case, we’ll help you figure all of that out.
Should I hire your East Meadow workers’ compensation lawyers?
A lawyer is an important partner as you seek recovery for a workplace injury. The workers’ compensation process is complicated, and even one small mistake can result in limited or blocked recovery.
We are focused on the injured employee’s best interests and can assist with:
- Compiling evidence of your injury, including medical records
- Ensuring that everyone follows the appropriate steps of the workers’ compensation process
- Communications with the insurer
- Representing the employee in any appeal
- Confirming the full recovery of benefits
- Advising on the status of the individual as an employee or independent contractor
- Pursuing a lawsuit against a negligent third party
The team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has a history of assisting clients in navigating the workers’ compensation process. Our lawyers work with each client to understand the facts of their case, understand their goals, and develop a strategy for recovery. We know the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system in New York and are by our clients’ side throughout the process.
We are dedicated to providing our clients with personal service and unsurpassed legal representation and strive to keep our communications clear and straightforward. Our firm has a history of successfully fighting for clients’ workers’ compensation claims for years throughout New York. If you or a loved one suffered injuries at work in or around East Meadows, NY, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 565-2993 or through our website to schedule a free consultation.
Contact Our Experienced East Meadow Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
Filing for and securing recovery through the workers’ compensation process is a complicated one, leaving many injured employees with questions about how to recover and whether they have received the appropriate amount of compensation. An experienced attorney is an important partner throughout the claims and recovery process, relieving the stress of navigating the claims process and ensuring you secure the recovery you deserve.
The team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is focused on providing compassionate, straightforward legal representation for injury victims in and around East Meadows, NY. As one of the largest, best known, and most innovative law firms in the country, our attorneys provide our clients with personal service and unsurpassed legal representation—all while preserving each client’s dignity and privacy.
We know the time after an injury is confusing and stressful, especially when there is a legal dispute. We strive to keep all communications clear and straightforward to enable each client to fully comprehend their cases.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 565-2993, open a chat with one of our representatives, or send us a message through our contact page for a free case evaluation. We are confident that our team has the expertise necessary to meet the unique needs of your case.
East Meadow Office
90 Merrick Avenue, Suite 601
East Meadow, NY 11554
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“The team and Jocoby & Meyers are excellent. They make sure the client is well taken care of. They are great with communication and they take their time to make sure the client is satisfied. Will definitely recommend.”
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