Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Years ago, people who were injured while on the job had no way to bring money into their household. They were simply not paid and often replaced entirely. Thankfully, New York law requires that all employers with one or more employee carry workers’ compensation insurance at all times. This program ideally allows workers who are injured while on the job to retain a stream of income, and to return to their jobs when able.
Unfortunately, while most workers’ compensation claims are settled quickly, insurance companies are able to object to the Workers’ Compensation Board’s findings and aim to deny employee’s benefits.
A Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer represents workers who have been injured on the job to obtain the benefits that they deserve. Whether their claim has been denied by the Board, or their employer is appealing a finding, an experienced Brooklyn attorney will fight to get workers what they have earned. En Español.
How Workers’ Compensation Works
The first thing that an injured worker should do is to seek emergency medical treatment if necessary. There is no need to begin a claim process immediately and the worker’s health is always the most important consideration. However, the worker must notify their employer of the accident no more than 30 days after the accident.
If this deadline passes without notification, then the workers’ claim may be denied. Once the employer has notice, the employee should seek treatment at a doctor of their choice who is approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
This doctor will treat any injury, and provide an opinion on the worker’s ability to return to work. It is worth remembering that the insurance company who pays any claims may require the worker to attend an independent doctor’s exam.
Once the doctor makes their recommendation, the case file is sent to the insurance company for payout. Most cases end here as the insurance company accepts the recommendation. However, the insurance company can dispute the claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
They may argue that the worker was not injured enough to justify benefits, that the worker was not “at-work” at the time of the accident, or that the company did not cover the worker. This board will then hold a hearing with an administrative judge who decides the case.
Even if a worker loses their case at this stage, they can appeal the decision all the way up to the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. All workers have the right to be represented by counsel at these hearings and the Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer does exactly that.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
All costs for medical treatment related to the injury will be paid by the insurance company. In order for a worker to get any sort of cash benefit, they must be unable to work for at least seven days. These benefits are paid out at a rate of 66 percent of the average weekly wage over the past year times the percent of disability found by the doctor. For example, if a worker was making $500 a week and is considered 75 percent disabled, their weekly payout will be $247.50.
Even if an employee is able to return to work at a limited capacity, the difference in their normal wage and the reduced wages will be paid out at 66 percent of the difference, on top of the wages that they earn.
Benefits may also be paid for any permanent loss of bodily function. These benefits are paid out according to a schedule defined by law. They range from 312 weeks of compensation for loss of the use of an arm, down to 16 weeks for loss of use of a toe. Once again, the doctors on the case will need to provide their opinion that the worker cannot function as a whole person.
How a Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
All people who are injured while at work have the right to receive workers’ compensation payments. It does not matter how the injury happened, as long as the employee was at work when it did. Unfortunately, insurance companies make money by denying claims.
People who have had claims denied due to conflicting medical reports, or statements from insurance companies that the injury did not happen while at work should contact a Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyer today.
Your experienced attorney will fight by the side of injured workers to argue appeal cases before the Workers’ Compensation Board or in court for the rare cases where a trial is needed. People deserve to be paid when they are injured at work; let an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer help make that happen.