Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in New York City
At the Harris Firm, LLC, we handle worker's compensation claims on behalf of healthcare workers in Queens, the Bronx, and all of New York City's boroughs. With over two decades of experience, our attorneys are well-versed in the state's workers' compensation system. We understand how the process works, as well as the unique needs of injured healthcare workers. Our firm develops innovative legal strategies and provides personalized attention to each healthcare provider who contracts COVID-19 at work or with in the scope of their employment.
In New York, nearly every employee is entitled to workers’ compensation. This means that if you were involved in an on-the-job accident or suffered a work-related injury, illness, or medical condition, you are likely entitled to financial compensation for certain expenses and losses through the state’s workers’ compensation system. However, just because you are entitled to benefits does not necessarily mean that you will be able to recover those benefits easily.
Filing a workers’ compensation can be confusing, time-consuming, and difficult. This is especially true when your employer or their insurance provider disputes your claim. When this happens, hiring a Queens workers' compensation attorney may be your best option. At the Harris Firm, LLC, we represent injured workers in navigating the workers’ compensation system, from filing an initial claim to appealing claim denials, coverage, and related issues. Based in Queens, our workers’ compensation attorneys represent injured workers from all industries throughout NYC’s five boroughs. Whether you were injured in a catastrophic workplace accident or diagnosed with a debilitating work-related medical condition, our team is ready to fight for you and your rights.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York?
The New York workers’ compensation system covers nearly all employees in the state, including both part-time and full-time workers. In fact, when discussing who is covered by workers’ compensation in New York, it is actually easier to name the few exceptions.
In New York, the following types of workers are generally not covered by workers’ compensation:
- Independent contractors
- Sole proprietors
- Business owners/partnerships without employees
- Most unpaid volunteers
All other workers in the state of New York are covered by their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not have coverage, or if they are disputing your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation benefits after a job-related injury or illness, contact the Harris Firm, LLC right away.
Common Job-Related Injuries & Illnesses
What Are Common Work Injuries in Queens?
Work injuries in Queens can range from minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to major muscle strains and dangerous head, neck or back injuries. In some cases, workplace accidents may even result in the need for amputations or other types of permanent disability. Such injuries can make it hard to pursue proper compensation, which is why the services of an experienced workplace injury lawyer may be necessary. The most common work-related injuries include:
- Musculoskeletal Injuries - These types of injuries include broken or fractured bones, joint sprains and strains, herniated discs, and carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive motion.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – This type of workplace injury can happen in any industry but is particularly common in construction and other industries with plenty of moving parts or objects that could fall from a height onto workers below.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Serious spinal cord injuries are not uncommon on work sites where falls from heights are possible or where heavy loads must be repeatedly lifted without the use of proper safety equipment and procedures.
- Burns – Burn injuries can range from minor to severe depending on the source of the burn, such as electrical burns caused by faulty wiring on job sites or chemical burns caused by exposure to hazardous substances like acid or caustic materials used in certain professions like manufacturing jobs.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries– These may involve muscle tension that builds up over time due to inadequate rest periods between tasks that involve repetitive motions like lifting heavy items multiple times per shift without taking sufficient breaks in between activities for muscles to recover adequately before returning back into action once more.
These types of workplace accidents can be caused by a single event, such as a slip and fall or equipment malfunction. Or they may occur gradually over time due to repeated exposure to hazardous working conditions. In either case, if you were injured while on the job in Queens, Bronx, or any other area of New York City, you have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an experienced work injury lawyer near you immediately. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to file a workplace accident lawsuit instead of or in addition to filing a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance.
Common Workplace Illnesses in Queens
Workplace illnesses in Queens can range from the flu to serious occupational diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. Common workplace illnesses include:
- Respiratory Diseases – These types of illnesses are often caused by the inhalation of hazardous fumes, such as those from welding or painting. In some cases, workers may also be exposed to dust particles that can cause asthma-like symptoms and other lung-related issues.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries – As mentioned above, these injuries occur when muscles remain tense or overworked for long periods of time without proper rest periods between tasks.
- Mesothelioma– This form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was commonly used in construction and manufacturing jobs prior to its ban in the 1970s.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This type of injury most often occurs among workers who use their hands repeatedly while typing on a computer or using tools such as screwdrivers or other small hand tools.
- Infectious Diseases – These illnesses are caused by bacteria or viruses that can be spread from person to person, and they are particularly common in healthcare workplaces where multiple staff members are exposed to patients with contagious diseases on a daily basis.
Not all work-related illnesses are covered by you employer's workers' comp insurance. This is why it is so important for you to consult a workers' compensation lawyer near you to help determine if your illness is due to your job. If it is, you may be entitled to compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers' Compensation Claim?
Time Limit for Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim
An injured or sick employee must file a claim within two years of the accident or within two years after the employee knew or should have known that an illness was job-related.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
Workers’ compensation provides several different types of benefits to qualifying claimants in New York.
These benefits include:
- Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation pays for all “reasonable and necessary” medical care, treatment, and related expenses stemming from job-related injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions. This includes surgical and hospital services, dental services, crutches and orthopedic devices, hearing aids, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, nursing care, medications, and more. In some cases, workers’ compensation also pays mileage reimbursement for travel to and from medical appointments.
- Temporary Disability Benefits: The New York workers’ compensation system pays both temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits for workers who are unable to work temporarily due to job-related injuries and medical conditions. The amount paid for temporary disability depends on the worker’s disability rating, their average weekly wage, the state’s maximum weekly amount, and other factors. Our Queens workers’ compensation lawyers can review the details of your case with you during a free consultation.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: If a worker is permanently disabled due to a job-related injury or illness, they can receive permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, depending on their disability rating and other factors. To receive permanent disability benefits, you must receive an impairment rating from your treating physician between 1 and 100% after you have reached “maximum medical improvement,” or MMI. Different amounts are awarded for different impairment ratings and types of disabilities, including disfigurement, loss of bodily functions, loss of limb, etc.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: Some individuals who experience work-related injuries or medical conditions that prevent them from returning to their previous employment may qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits help offset some of the costs associated with retraining, education, and reentering the workforce, such as course fees, material costs, and other expenses.
- Death Benefits: When someone dies in a workplace accident or as a result of a job-related injury or illness, their surviving dependents (spouse, child, etc.) may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits are calculated based on various factors, including the deceased’s average wages, the number of children/dependents, and more. Workers’ compensation death benefits also pay for reasonable funeral/burial expenses up to a specific limit that differs from county to county.
Although most workers’ compensation benefits are provided on an ongoing basis, it may be possible to receive a lump-sum settlement. If you have questions about your benefits, we invite you to reach out to our team at the Harris Firm, LLC. We are happy to discuss your case and advise you as to your legal options at no cost, either in one of our conveniently located offices or at your home or the hospital.
How Do I Appeal a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employers’ insurance companies frequently dispute or deny workers’ compensation claims. If this happens to you, know that you have the option of appealing and continuing to seek the rightful benefits you are owed.
Appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim is a complex process, involving numerous steps, extensive paperwork, and hearings before administrative law judges. At the Harris Firm, LLC, we can help you navigate this process and ensure that you are fully prepared for all related proceedings. Our Queens workers’ compensation attorneys are here to represent you and your best interests every step of the way, offering personalized and attentive service and aggressive advocacy from start to finish.
How the Harris Firm, LLC Can Help
If you have been injured in an on-the-job accident or diagnosed with a work-related health condition, make sure you see a medical professional right away. You should also notify your employer right away but no more than 30 days after the injury or diagnosis. Next, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney who can advise you of your options and protect your rights.
At the Harris Firm, LLC, we understand the New York workers’ compensation system. Our attorneys bring decades of experience to their practice, along with a proven track record of success in obtaining fair benefits for our clients.
We represent individuals across all industries who have suffered work-related injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions. This includes but is not limited to:
- Construction workers
- Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare drivers
- Restaurant workers
- Healthcare workers
- Transportation workers
- Manufacturing workers
Our multilingual staff can assist you in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Bangali/Vangia, or another language you are most comfortable communicating in. We have an open-door policy, meaning you do not need to make an appointment to see us. We offer completely free, zero-obligation consultations and contingency fees, which means you do not pay any out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our firm. Instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we recover compensation for you.
Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Learn About Your Workers’ Compensation Rights and What You Are Entitled To
The workers’ compensation program helps thousands of workers who are injured on the job in New York every year. Medical bills can quickly pile up and the financial pressures felt by injured workers can be all too real. Workers’ compensation is intended to relieve some of these stresses, but it can be a difficult process to effectively navigate.
If you or someone you know has been injured at work and wants to pursue workers’ compensation, knowing some of the ins and outs can be critical. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about workers’ compensation.
What Benefits Are Available Under Workers’ Compensation?
For those with qualifying injuries, workers’ compensation will cover several different expenses. For instance, medical expenses incurred due to the work-related injury will be compensable. This can include everything from the costs of laboratory tests and radiographic studies, such as x-rays and MRIs, to physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and prescribed medications. Expenses related to receiving medical care, such as mileage reimbursement for driving to and from doctor’s appointments, will also be covered. For employees out of work for more than seven days, workers’ compensation will pay out lost wage benefits. Cash benefits are also available should an employee suffer a loss of function or some other type of permanent disability.
How much you receive from workers’ compensation in the form of benefits payments will depend on a number of factors, including:
- How much your employer paid you in the previous year
- The severity and extent of your injury
- How long you are out of work due to your injury
- The cost of medical care related to your injury
What If My Workplace Injury Was My Fault?
Workers’ compensation benefits are paid out regardless of who was at fault for causing the workplace injury. If you and you alone were to blame for getting injured at work, this should not prevent you from applying for workers’ compensation benefits as fault is not a determining factor in benefit eligibility. As long as your injury was sustained in the workplace or in the course of performing your job duties, you should be covered under workers’ compensation.
Can I File a New Claim If I Already Had a Medical Condition and an Accident Makes it Worse?
Yes, you can file a claim if a workplace accident aggravates a preexisting medical condition. While having a preexisting condition can complicate the workers’ compensation claims process, it should by no means prevent you from pursuing benefits. If a workplace accident worsens a medical condition you already had, you are entitled to benefits. However, there must be a direct link between the workplace accident and the aggravation of your preexisting medical condition. If no such causal relationship can be established, it may be difficult to successfully make a workers’ compensation claim.
What is Not Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for a wide variety of different injuries and incidents, but there are still many gaps in its coverage. It essentially only provides coverage for accidents that happen within the scope of your employment. If you suffered an injury due to behavior that wasn’t an accident, such as intentionally running down a tile hallway and slipping, then your injury might not be covered. Or if your injury happened and you weren’t doing anything work-related, then workers’ compensation likely doesn’t cover it. There are other gaps in workers’ comp coverage, too, such as unpredictable “acts of God” and short, mild illnesses like the common cold.
Is COVID-19 Compensable Under New York’s Workers’ Compensation Acts?
New York still has some specialized COVID-19 permissions in its workers’ compensation act. If your job exposed you to the coronavirus, and it is reasonable to assume as much, then you can file for workers’ compensation coverage to keep you financially afloat while you recover and self-isolate. If you work away from others or remotely, and your symptoms do not last more than five days, though, then you might not be eligible for workers’ compensation. Also, an insurer can challenge your claim if it has reason to believe you contracted the virus due to activities outside of your employment, such as attending parties with friends or going out to eat.
What Should I Do After Being Injured in the Workplace?
When you’ve been injured in the workplace, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 if you or a coworker has been seriously injured. You should also notify your employer as soon as possible, regardless of the injury’s apparent severity. If you fail to tell your employer about your accident or injury in a timely manner, then it is more likely that your claim will be denied later. You should also fill out an official accident report with your employer as soon as you can. Lastly, if any of your coworkers saw your accident, then ask them to write down what they saw in their own accident reports.
Is My Employer Allowed to Deny My Claim?
No, employers typically do not have the ability to deny a claim outright. Instead, an employer who receives an accident report from a worker must forward that report to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance provider for review. Your report usually must be forwarded within a matter of a few days or less. When the insurer gets your claim, it can review it and then make the decision to approve it, ask for more information, or deny it. But, technically, your employer shouldn’t be the one telling you that your claim is invalid.
Reach Out to Harris Firm, LLC for Assistance Accessing Your Benefits!
Have you been injured in a workplace accident? Workers’ compensation provides critical financial support to injured workers and our team has extensive knowledge on how to successfully navigate this often complex and frustrating system. Our attorneys will help you pursue the monetary compensation you need and deserve.
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