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If you have been injured on the job, it can profoundly affect your life, your ability to earn, and your ability to support your family. In other words, an injury at work can be life-altering. If you have been injured in an accident at work, you shouldn’t wait to seek the professional legal guidance of an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer.

Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

The good news is that if you are injured while on the job in New York – and you work for a NY employer who carries workers’ compensation coverage, which nearly every employer is required by law to do – then you are eligible for workers’ compensation if you are injured in a workplace accident. Further, your eligibility does not end with injuries sustained on the job – you’re also covered if you acquire a work-related illness over time. Examples include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and other kinds of repetitive stress injuries
  • Back issues
  • Stress-related concerns, such as heart attacks and strokes, mental health issues, and more
  • Illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous conditions or substances

Generally, if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you are covered by workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Law in New York State

Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage that is intended to compensate employees who suffer workplace injuries or illnesses with wage replacement at a specific percentage of current earnings and the cost of necessary medical expenses. Workers’ compensation law in New York – and throughout the nation – is based on balancing the protections provided to covered employees and to the employers who pay for their coverage. Consider the following:

  • As an injured employee, workers’ compensation covers you for specific losses, but you give up the right to sue your employer for negligence (the way you can with a personal injury claim).
  • While your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage is required to cover your losses, the company does not have to worry about an ensuing lawsuit.

In other words, both sides give up something in exchange for a sure thing.
Some of the most common workers’ compensation claims fall into the following basic categories:

  • Accidents on construction sites (construction work is one of the most dangerous industries, and a serious injury between the ages of 45 and 55 can prove career-ending)
  • Injuries sustained by state workers, including NY corrections officers
  • Slip and fall accidents on stairs, from other heights, or at work generally
  • Injuries caused by elevators, escalators, or automatic doors
  • Injuries sustained by bus drivers, hospital direct-care workers, office workers, and blue-collar workers
  • EMTs injured in the course of their work, which can be exceptionally dangerous
  • Injuries sustained by school employees, city health workers, hospital lunch or dietary aids, paraprofessionals, and maintenance workers
  • Injuries sustained by undocumented workers

If you have an accident at work claim, don’t wait to seek the legal guidance of a reputable NY workers’ compensation law firm.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

The list of injuries you can sustain on the job is nearly endless, but there are several categories that are commonly sustained.

Back Injury at Work

The Mayo Clinic reports that all the following types of back injuries can be caused by conditions at work:

  • Injuries caused by excessive force on your back, including moving and lifting heavy objects
  • Injuries caused by repetitive motion, such as those that require you to twist or rotate your spine repeatedly
  • Injuries caused by too little activity overall, such as sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, which can lead to considerable back pain

You can also sustain a back injury, such as a spinal cord injury, in a work-related accident. Spinal cord injuries are closely associated with serious losses related to the range of motion and can lead to chronic pain. If the spinal cord is severed, life-altering paralysis is the result.

Neck Injury at Work

Neck injuries can also be the result of sudden trauma caused by an accident or repetitive physical stress on the job. Even relatively minor neck injuries can prove exceptionally difficult to overcome. Soft tissue injuries to the neck, which are commonly called whiplash, are the most common type of neck injury associated with vehicle accidents on the job.

A herniated disc is another common work-related neck injury, and it’s caused when the soft cushions between the discs in your neck break down, move, or are displaced – resulting in the bones pressing on either nerves or nerve roots. The pain associated with a serious herniated disc injury can be debilitating.

Shoulder Injury at Work

Shoulder injuries on the job are often caused by repetitive motion or strain, heavy lifting, and joint trauma and can include all the following:

  • Tears in the rotator cuff
  • Joint dislocations
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Peripheral nerve impairment
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Labrum tears

Shoulder injuries are often quite painful and can significantly interfere with your ability to move freely.

Knee Injury at Work

Knee injuries are closely associated with considerable time lost on the job. Early diagnosis and treatment, however, can help significantly reduce your overall losses. Those most susceptible to knee injuries caused by degeneration of the joint due to heavy work include construction workers, those engaged in other skilled trades, nurses, and more.

How Is Workers’ Compensation Calculated in New York?

If you are injured on the job in New York and are cleared for benefits, workers’ compensation, all the following apply:

  • Your compensation will cover a specific percentage of your average earnings over the previous year – as tempered by the severity of your injuries.
  • You won’t receive benefits for the first seven days you are off the job unless the amount of time you ultimately off exceed two weeks – in which case your benefits will be calculated from the first day of your work-related injury.
  • Even if you return to work post-injury at a lower wage rate, you can seek compensation at a percentage of the difference between what you were earning prior to the injury and what you are currently earning.
  • Workers’ compensation has weekly maximums for those experiencing both partial disability and total disability.

Workers’ compensation also addresses your necessary medical expenses – as they relate to injuries you’ve incurred on the job. However, workers’ compensation will not necessarily cover treatment provided by your own doctor. Instead, you’ll need to seek the medical care of a healthcare provider who is authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. Your employer will likely direct you regarding where to seek the medical services you require.

When Should I Call a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?

If you have been injured on the job, there are specific steps that you should take to help protect your health and well-being and to help protect your workers’ compensation claim, including consultation with an experienced work injury lawyer.

Seek the Medical Attention that You Need

The first order of business if you have been injured on the job is seeking the medical care that you require – even if you don’t believe that the injuries you’ve sustained are serious. The fact is that the adrenaline and shock associated with being injured on the job can mask your symptoms and pain, and very serious injuries can be slow to develop symptoms. Because early diagnosis and improved prognosis go hand in hand, seeking medical attention sooner rather than later is in your best interest. Following your doctor’s instructions and advice is not only the right thing to do for your health and well-being but also demonstrates that you take your injuries as seriously as you expect the workers’ compensation insurance provider to take them.

Notify Your Supervisor

As soon as you can, you should notify your supervisor, boss, or employer about the injuries you sustained on the job. Doing so helps to establish that your injuries are job-related and kicks off the workers’ compensation process.

Consult With a Top-Rated Workers’ Compensation Attorney Near You

Reach out to a skilled workers’ comp attorney as soon after the injury-causing accident as you can. Although the workers’ compensation insurance company is paid specifically to recover your losses, it is in the business of turning a profit, and you can expect it to do what it can to keep your settlement as low as possible. Having a dedicated work accident lawyer on your side can help in all the following ways:

  • Building your strongest claim
  • Ensuring that you are compliant with all the workers’ compensation rules and regulations, which can be quite challenging
  • Helping you make the right decisions for you and your claim throughout the process
  • Communicating with the workers’ compensation insurance provider on your behalf
  • Skillfully negotiating with the workers’ compensation insurance provider for a settlement that fairly addresses your complete range of covered losses.

It is important to remember that – during a claim’s first pass through workers’ compensation – denials are common. You can count on the other side having an arsenal of legal professionals in their corner, and you shouldn’t proceed without legal representation of your own.

Make the Call to an Experienced Work Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured on the job, you face a difficult journey forward toward recovery that includes mounting medical expenses and diminished pay. The only way to address your losses head-on is with the professional legal guidance of a savvy NY work injury lawyer on your side. Our accomplished workers’ compensation attorneys proudly dedicate their practice to helping clients who have been injured on the job obtain the compensation to which they are entitled – and that they need to make their most complete recoveries. We are on your side and standing by to help, so please do not wait to contact or call us for more information today.

Experience

Our legal team has a detailed knowledge of New York workers’ compensation and Social Security disability law, including a unique perspective gained from our founder’s past experience serving as defense counsel for dozens of workers’ compensation insurance firms. You can rest easy knowing that we have the skills necessary to handle your claim.

Reputation

Our firm’s reputation is unparalleled throughout the Big Apple. When you choose to work with us, you’re getting the benefit of respected representation from one of the leading workers’ compensation and Social Security disability firms in the state.

Commitment

At O’Connor Law, we understand how vital our work is to your future. We’re committed to fighting for your right to benefits while providing you with the support you need to navigate this difficult time in your life. You will always feel like you are our top priority.

Results

We’re compassionate and empathetic, but far from being a pushover. We’re an iron fist in a velvet glove and will aggressively advocate for your interests—even if that means litigation is necessary to protect your right to benefits.

Protecting New Yorkers is what we do.

Our Process

Discuss your case (for free)

  • Meet briefly to learn more
  • Discuss your injuries or disability
  • Determine if we can help

We file your claim

  • Pay nothing upfront
  • No fee until you win
  • Feel confident with a legal team in your corner

We deal with the insurance company

  • We respond to requests and negotiate on your behalf
  • If they don’t play ball, we fight it out in court

You get the outcome you deserve

  • Get the compensation you’re entitled to
  • Ditch the stress
  • Get back to normal and living your life

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I afford an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer?

You are injured, off the job, and watching medical bills mount, and if you are hesitant to add the expense of a workers’ compensation attorney to the mix, no one can blame you. Fortunately, most reputable workers’ compensation law firms work on what is called contingency, meaning that their pay is contingent upon – or based upon – the compensation you ultimately receive. At that point, your attorney will receive a prearranged percentage of your settlement, but if your claim ultimately proves unsuccessful, you won’t owe anything. In other words, your workers’ compensation lawyer – not you – takes on the financial risk.

Am I entitled to workers’ compensation coverage?

If you have an employer and were injured on the job in New York, you are almost certainly covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is not going to be an easy or straightforward process. You can count on the workers’ comp insurance company doing what it can to keep your settlement as low as it can, and you should have professional legal counsel on your side to help you combat its efforts.

I was injured on the job – what should I do?

If you’ve been injured at work, there are several steps that you should take to help you protect both your health and your workers’ compensation claim, including:

  • Notifying your employer that you were harmed at work
  • Seeking immediate medical attention and carefully adhering to your doctor’s instructions
  • Consulting with a formidable New York workers’ compensation lawyer and allowing your attorney to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Laying low on your social media accounts while your claim is pending (the workers’ compensation insurance company is watching and waiting for you to post something that it can spin in a claim-damaging direction)

  • Larchmont