Staten Island Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Every day on Staten Island and throughout the five boroughs, New York workers sustain on-the-job injuries that cause them pain and disability, and put them out of work sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. Some of the incidents that lead to workplace injuries reflect nothing more than bad luck; freak accidents that could not have been foreseen or prevented. Many others, however, could absolutely have been prevented, if only someone had made better decisions or had taken safer actions.
No matter how or why a Staten Island worker gets injured, a workplace injury pushes the injured worker into an encounter with New York’s workers’ compensation system. The choices the worker makes when it comes to reporting and treating a workplace injury, and in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, can have a significant impact on the amount of money the worker receives through workers’ comp benefits and from (potentially) other third party sources.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies would like you to think that you can handle filing and pursuing a workers’ compensation claim on your own. But here is the reality: most people do not have the experience or know-how to maximize their workers’ comp benefits or to investigate and pursue other sources of compensation for a workplace injury. Instead, those people virtually always benefit from hiring an experienced Staten Island workers’ compensation lawyer to help them protect their rights to benefits and compensation.
If you have sustained an injury on the job, call the Staten Island personal injury lawyers of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation.
A Workers’ Compensation Law Practice for Staten Island Workers
Since the early 1970s, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has committed its legal practice to helping New Yorkers and Tri-State area residents recover the compensation they need and deserve after a preventable injury disrupts their lives. A core focus of our practice, from the beginning, has been making sure that workers who sustain injuries on-the-job receive payments due to them under New York’s workers’ compensation laws, as well as from any third party who caused them harm. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
Our roots on Staten Island run deep. Attorneys in our Staten Island location, located at 26 Watchogue Road, just off of Victory Boulevard in Mid Island, live in the community they serve. The Staten Island workers injured on the job who we represent are our neighbors and fellow community members. We fight for them because we believe in taking care of our own when times are tough.
In addition, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can draw on the resources of our sister firm, which has more than 50 years’ experience helping injured workers with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims. You can learn more about their work at https://www.foalaw.com/.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers
Getting injured at work on Staten Island sets in motion a process governed by a complicated body of New York laws and regulations. Below, we give a brief overview of what the workers’ compensation system covers, and what it does not. To learn more about how the workers’ compensation system applies to your Staten Island workplace injury or illness, speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Covers Virtually All Staten Island Workers
With limited exceptions, Staten Island employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The purpose of this insurance is to provide benefits to employees who sustain injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment activities.
The basic benefits include:
- Medical coverage for the care necessary to treat a workplace injury or illness;
- Disability benefits to replace some income lost as a result of an injury or illness that leaves a worker temporarily or permanently disabled; and
- In the case of a workplace fatality, death benefits to make up for a portion of the income lost when the worker died.
Workers’ comp insurance pays these benefits to workers no matter who was at fault for a workplace injury or illness. Even if the worker’s own careless or reckless actions caused the health condition, the worker can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is a Worker’s Only Recourse Against an Employer
The legal requirement that all employers carry workers’ comp insurance for the benefit of their employees comes with a trade-off. By providing workers’ comp insurance, the employer has no other legal liability to an employee who gets injured or sick on the job. In other words, employees who are covered by workers’ compensation insurance cannot sue their employers for workplace injuries or illnesses, even if the employer’s or a co-worker’s poor decisions or dangerous actions directly led to those conditions, except in rare cases of an employer causing an employee intentional harm.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Does Not Bar Workers From Suing Third Parties
Sometimes, the person or entity whose decisions or actions caused a workplace injury/illness is neither the injured worker nor the employer (or a co-worker). Instead, the injury or illness results from the actions or decisions of someone else, known as a third party. When this occurs, in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker may also have the right to take legal action against the third-party for compensation. Any compensation recovered in that third party action, however, becomes subject to certain rules that may affect the amount of workers’ compensation benefits the worker receives.
The Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
Workers injured or taken ill on the job in Staten Island must follow some important steps to protect their rights to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits and to preserve their ability (if applicable) to take legal action against a third party.
The Importance of Seeking Approved Medical Care
Perhaps the single most important step workers should take to protect their rights after sustaining an injury or illness at work is to seek appropriate medical care right away. But beware, unless a Staten Island injury requires a trip to the emergency room, workers must seek medical care from a medical professional who has been approved by the state Workers Compensation Board.
Medical services rendered by non-approved providers are not covered by workers’ comp insurance except in limited cases involving emergency care. Some employers may also have been permitted to enroll in a health care program that requires employees to use specific medical providers, diagnostic labs, and pharmacies. (Your employer will have notified you if this is the case.)
Follow all instructions your doctor gives you. Do not skip appointments, medications, or therapies. Failing to follow a doctor’s course of treatment can result in you losing workers’ comp benefits and the ability to pursue a third party claim.
The doctor who treats you for a work-related injury or illness must report the treatment to you, your employer, and the Workers’ Compensation Board. This is important paperwork. Keep it in your records, and follow up with the doctor if you do not receive it.
The Importance of Notifying Your Employer Right Away
The second, very important step injured Staten Island workers must take to ensure they receive workers’ compensation benefits they deserve is to notify their employers right away of their work-related injury or illness. The latest you can give an employer notice is 30 days after the injury, and within two years of receiving a diagnosis of a work-related illness. If you miss this deadline for notifying your employer, then you may lose your right to recover some or all workers’ compensation benefits.
The Importance of Filing a Thorough, Accurate Workers’ Compensation Claim
Staten Island workers who want to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits should file a claim as soon as possible, and no later than two years of the injury or knowledge that an injury or illness was related to the worker’s employment. The Workers’ Compensation Board aims to make the process of filing a claim easy for workers, but workers should take care not to be deceived. There is nothing simple about applying for workers’ comp benefits.
The standard form for filing a New York workers’ comp claim requests detailed information about your health condition, the circumstances of your work-related injury or illness, the basis for your claim of partial or total disability, and your ability to return to work. How you answer these questions, and the evidence you provide to support your answers, can affect your rights to receive benefits. It is all-too-easy for an unwary Staten Island worker who is not familiar with New York workers’ compensation law to make mistakes in phrasing an answer, or in not supplying necessary information, that can lead to the claim being denied and the worker not receiving much-needed benefits.
How Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Staten Island Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
Most people can handle the first two steps above on their own. The third step, however, and the legal and financial considerations that come along with it, often go beyond what most people feel capable of handling without guidance. That is where the services of an experienced Staten Island workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Help Preparing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Hiring a Staten Island workers’ compensation attorney to help you prepare a claim can have significant benefits. Perhaps most immediately, an attorney can guide you through the process of compiling and presenting the information the Workers’ Compensation Board needs to see to approve your claim for benefits. By providing this guidance, the attorney can help to improve your chances of having maximum benefits approved on the first try.
Help Pursuing a Contested Claim
If you are fortunate, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will approve your claim and begin paying benefits. Sometimes, however, the carrier disputes the amount or nature of benefits you claim, and the matter ends up in a hearing before an administrative law judge. Having an attorney assist you with preparing for, attending, and participating in a hearing can mean the difference between ultimately receiving benefits and having a judge deny your claim.
Importantly, you do not pay an attorney directly for help pursuing a workers’ compensation claim at a hearing. Instead, the attorney receives a percentage of benefits secured for you, as decided by the administrative judge
Help in an Appeal of a Workers’ Comp Claim
In New York, either party can appeal the administrative judge’s decision. When that happens, the matter may go through several stages of review in which the services of an experienced attorney can prove essential. As a matter progresses, the issues standing in the way of Staten Island workers receiving the benefits they deserve tend to become more and more complicated and legally-technical. This is not a process most people can pursue successfully on their own.
Help Evaluating and Pursuing Third Party Claims
Finally, an experienced Staten Island workers’ compensation attorney can evaluate whether a third party took actions or made decisions that caused a worker’s injury or illness. While not always the case, many workers’ compensation cases, in our experience, have a third party liability component to them. Workers can pursue third parties through legal action in basically the same manner as they could in any other kind of personal injury type lawsuit.
Even so, a third party claim for damages arising out of a Staten Island workplace injury or illness still comes with potential legal complications. Any money an injured or ill worker recovers in a third-party action may affect the amount of workers’ comp benefits the worker is entitled to receive. An attorney who is unfamiliar with New York workers’ compensation law and rules can make mistakes at this stage that could prove costly, so always make sure your attorney has the experience and familiarity necessary to guide you through a third party lawsuit while also protecting your workers’ comp benefits.
Your Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Staten Island Workers
A workplace injury or illness can throw your life into turmoil. Medical complications and financial strain compound each other, making every day feel practically overwhelming. You may know you have the right to workers’ comp benefits, but the process of obtaining them—and getting the most money possible—seems about as easy as tiptoeing across a minefield. You need help.
For decades, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have dedicated their law practice to helping Staten Island workers and their families rebound from work-related injuries and illnesses. We have the experience and resources to assist you in obtaining maximum workers’ comp benefits, and in pursuing claims against any third party who did you harm. Call our Staten Island office today at (877) 565-2993, start a live chat with us, or contact us online for a free case evaluation.