No one can go back in time to stop a workplace injury from happening, but the next best thing is to be prepared in the event that it happens to you. By arming yourself with knowledge and a trusted attorney, you can navigate life after an on-the-job injury. The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. is one of the most experienced law firms in New York City when it comes to construction accidents and workers’ compensation claims. We have provided a comprehensive guide for injured workers in New York, and we are available 24/7 to take your calls if you or someone you love was hurt at work.
Immediately after being hurt on the job, there are three steps you must take:
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers pay for, and the Workers’ Compensation Board processes the claims. Generally speaking, Workers’ compensation benefits are comprised of payments for wages during the time you are out of work and medical benefits that are necessary for accident related treatment.
An injured worker is entitled to benefits regardless of whether or not they are at fault for causing their injuries. Since the fault of the parties is irrelevant in a workers’ compensation claim, a worker’s benefits will not be reduced by his or her alleged contribution to the accident .
While fault is not a consideration in workers’ compensation claims, some workers’ compensation claims are disputed. For example, an employer may dispute a claim if they believe the injury or illness is not work-related. The insurance carrier also has the ability to dispute the claim. These disputed can affect the timing of when an injured worker received benefits because injured and disabled workers cannot start receiving workers’ compensation benefits until a workers’ compensation law judge decides the claim is valid. In the meantime, workers whose claims are being disputed may be able to collect money through the Disability Program.
Workers’ compensation benefits are calculated using this formula:
2/3 x average weekly wage x % of disability = weekly benefit.
There are also caps on weekly benefits based on the date of accident.
According to sections 2 and 3 of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, just about every employer in the state of New York has to supply workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. Qualifying employees can work for non-profit or for-profit organizations, so long as they are compensated.
As previously mentioned, the first three steps to take immediately after being hurt on the job include (i) seeking medical attention, (ii) notifying your employer in writing, and (iii) filing a claim with the Board on Form C-3. There are some other time-sensitive steps in the claim process of which to be aware:
1.Preliminary Medical Report - Within 48 Hours
Within two days of the accident, the treating doctor must fill out and mail in a preliminary medical report on Form Doctor’s Initial Report (C-4). The original should be mailed to the closest District Office, while copies should be sent to the worker’s employer/employer’s insurance carrier, the worker, and the worker’s representative (if there is one).
2.Employer Report – Within 10 Days
Within ten days of the incident, the worker’s employer must report the injury to the Workers’ Compensation Board as well as their insurance company.
3.Written Statement of Rights – Within 14 Days
Within two weeks of the accident, the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier must send a written statement of rights under the law to the injured worker.
4.Payment of Benefits Begins – Within 18 Days
If the injured worker’s time off work exceeds seven days, within 18 days of receipt of Form Employer's Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness, the insurer must begin paying the benefits, except if the claim is under dispute.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are provided for nearly all on-the-job accidents. However, in some instances, an injured worker may also have the right to bring a claim against another party, other than his or her employer. These claims are also known as “third-party claims” because another party, other than the employer, may also be at fault. A third-party claim allows an injured worker to file a lawsuit against any at-fault party, other than their employer.
We at the Perecman Firm have a proven record in prosecuting third-party claims stemming from on the job injuries. When an employee suffers an on-the-job injury, whether it be due to a defective tool, condition at the place of work, motor vehicle accident, or a construction accident, it is necessary to consult an attorney that is well versed and experienced in the nuances between workers’ compensation and third-party liability. This is particularly true in the context of construction accidents where New York State has established special laws to protect construction workers.
The Perecman Firm has established itself, under the leadership and hard work of David Perecman, Esq., as being at the forefront of fighting for the rights of injured construction workers. If you or a loved one was injured on a construction site or suffered any another type of work-related injury, please contact The Perecman Firm to discuss the matter. Our experienced attorneys and staff will be able to determine what type of case you have, whether workers’ compensation, third-party liability, or both.
The Workers’ Compensation Board may decide to hold a hearing before a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge who will decide whether a claim is valid or not. During the hearings it may be necessary to take testimony, conduct depositions and submit proof. Since the materials, testimony and submissions are relevant to the injured worker’s claims, what occurs at a hearing could impact the worker’s third-party claim. We at the Perecman Firm are ideally suited to handle these matters because we have a legal staff with experience and expertise in both workers’ compensation law and third-party liability. Having access to a premiere legal team that can represent you in both matters is ideal because it allows your attorneys to conduct the workers’ compensation proceedings with sensitivity, thought and strategic planning towards developing and maximizing both the workers’ compensation claims and the third-party action.
After recovering from an injury, you may decide to return to work. Once your doctor clears you, either you or your representative should inform the Board and the insurance carrier of that decision. If you are able to perform your job duties, but in a diminished capacity, you may be paid less. If this is the case, you could apply to receive workers’ compensation benefits to make up the decreased wages, called a “reduced earnings” benefit. You may think you can perform your job duties, but upon returning to work, realize that you cannot. If this is the case, you may have the opportunity to reopen your workers’ comp claim to collect benefits. If you were injured on the job and took time off work to recover, but never filed a workers’ comp claim before returning to work, you still have two years to do so.
Many clients that we represent at The Perecman Firm can no longer return to work in any capacity. In fact, we also represent many families who lost loved ones in construction and workplace related accidents. Our job is to be trial-ready, and fight for compensation to make you and your family whole. Following an on-the-job injury many injured workers fear that they will lose their home and fear that they will not be able to provide financially. We fight for injured workers and their families so that they can focus on their recovery and treatment and not be distracted by these fears.
At The Perecman Firm, we handle all types of construction accident claims, workers’ compensation claims, and even claims for disability benefits. Our law firm is a proud supporter of union workers and is passionate about representing all types of workers who have been hurt on the job. The time after an on-the-job accident can be confusing and scary, which is why The Perecman Firm exists. Our experienced New York City lawyers are here to walk you through the process to fight for a fair and favorable resolution. Get in touch with our firm today at (212) 577-9325.
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.'s team of NYC personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements for their clients. We understand the financial and emotional toll a serious accident can have on your life. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to maximizing your recovery and securing what you deserve.
- Joseph Lugo