Workers Compensation Lawyers New York
When you think of worker’s compensation, your thoughts normally turn to a one-time incident that occurred while on the job. The truth is, a large number of work-related injuries do not stem from one-time events. They are injuries that worsen over time as a result of doing the same movements over and over. These injuries can be from doing routine work on a keyboard, working on a construction site hammering nails, or using heavier equipment on a regular basis such as a jackhammer. Even working at a store or warehouse stocking supplies or scanning merchandise can be a cause for long-term injuries, or what is called repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). If you are trying to file a claim for workers’ compensation insurance for RSIs and are having difficulties receiving compensation, you should contact Workers’ Compensation Lawyers New York which can help. Contact the attorneys at Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C. to discuss how to recover the compensation you may be entitled to receive because of your injury.
DEFINITION OF RSIS
Also referred to as overuse injuries or repetitive strain injury and cumulative trauma which encompasses:
- Hearing loss developed over time from being exposed to loud noises on a regular basis at work
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Chronic lower back pain
- Tennis elbow – technically called epicondylitis
SYMPTOMS OF RSI
- Pain, which is anything from a dull ache or tenderness to severe or throbbing pain
- Limited range of flexibility or motion
- A loss of general coordination or strength
You may not even notice these symptoms at first or only when you are performing a specific function or standing or sitting a certain way. If you ignore these subtle symptoms, they could become painful, and eventually they may not go away, even after resting, resulting in the inability for you to do even routine daily chores necessary in your day-to-day life. If you notice these symptoms, it is important to keep thorough notes of your symptoms. By documenting your symptoms and working with workers’ compensation lawyers in New York, you could have a higher chance of receiving compensation for your RSI.
RSI IS NOT JUST FROM SITTING AT A COMPUTER ALL DAY
Many New York workers’ compensation lawyers agree that while computer-related RSIs are pretty common, there are many other job duties where a repetitive motion or using certain types of equipment, or even standing in a certain position for several hours every day can cause RSIs. Other occupations that are at risk for RSIs are:
- Retail and stock personnel
- Healthcare workers, including nurses
- Housekeeping and janitorial workers
- Truck and bus drivers
- Pipefitters and plumbers
- Delivery personnel
- First responders such as firefighters and EMTs
- Farmers and meat processors
- Professional athletes
If you are concerned that the symptoms you are experiencing are a result of a repetitive motion you perform at work, inform your employer as soon as possible. In addition, consult with a physician, through the instructions and advice of your workers’ compensation insurance policy. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to treat or to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Follow the advice of your doctor and make sure to know the circumstances of your injury — what you think is causing the pain, what you were doing when the injury occurred. It is important that your doctor understands your working habits or conditions that could have caused this RSI. New York workers’ compensation lawyers will use your doctor’s opinion on your injury to fight for your right to workers’ compensation.
If you have difficulty collecting workers’ compensation and need assistance, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. RSIs are sometimes difficult to collect workers’ comp benefits because of the sometimes long spans of time away from the job. Choosing experienced workers’ compensation lawyers New York trusts, can help you collect the medical information necessary to support your claim. Contact Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.
4 Dos and Don’ts for Your WC Claim
As Workers Compensation Lawyers in New York, Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, PC work hard to set their clients up for success. While there are millions of workplace injuries reported in the US each year, WC claims are not something that the average person deals with on a daily basis. So, when someone is injured at work, they may be unsure about how to proceed. Still, you don’t have to fight for your benefits alone. Working with an attorney can make the WC significantly easier.
If you or someone you love has been injured at work, Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, PC has some Dos and Don’ts that can help get you started.
Don’t: Wait To Notify Your Employer
If you are injured at work and have received medical attention you should notify your employer immediately. More specifically, you should notify your employer in writing. Waiting to provide notification, and failing to do so in written form may hurt your case in the long term. To increase your chances of success you need to establish a record of your injury and pursue benefits sooner rather than later.
Do: Hold On to Your Medical Records
After you’ve been treated by a healthcare provider, make sure that you keep any billing information that relates to your treatment. When the time comes for you to file for benefits, having invoices is essential to receiving compensation for your medical treatment. Workers Compensation Lawyers in New York will tell you that this is one of the most important parts of a successful claim.
Don’t: Be Afraid to File
Filing for WC benefits can be frightening to some people. Oftentimes, victims of workplace injuries mistakenly believe that they are taking action against their employers. This is not the case. Your employer has a legal duty to provide insurance benefits to injured workers. Filing a claim for Worker’s Compensation is simply a formalized process to request these benefits. There is no need to be afraid of filing.
Do: Consult an Attorney if You Have Any Questions
As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to filing a WC claim. You and your family likely have enough on your plate already. It is nice to have the knowledge of a lawyer at your disposal. Not only can they answer your questions, but they can also advocate and fight for you should the situation call for it.
Questions To Ask a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Choosing the right workers compensation lawyers in New York requires looking for experience, professionalism and dedication. A good lawyer encourages clients to ask questions. At Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, PC, we can help you find the answers you need and show you the available options for your case. What questions should you ask?
Does It Matter If I’m at Fault for My Injury?
It’s good to ask specific questions about the circumstances surrounding your injury. After all, you don’t want to discover problems in your case after already investing time in it. In New York, workers’ compensation is generally a no-fault system, meaning that it’s not necessary to assign blame.
On the other hand, if someone injures themselves on purpose, workers compensation doesn’t cover it. There are also prohibitions against being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when the accident happened.
What Type of Doctor Can I See?
Sometimes, you have to follow a certain list of physicians provided by your employer or the insurance company. If this list isn’t provided, you can see any doctor you want for medical treatment. This is one area where workers compensation lawyers in New York can guide you and help you avoid making mistakes.
When a company doctor (not your personal physician) is attending to your injuries, you need to be careful with what you say. Emphasize that you were hurt on the job and be truthful about the injury. Answer the doctor’s questions briefly. Keep other conversations to a minimum, and don’t discuss what caused the injury.
At Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, PC, we can provide you with a list of other questions to ask your doctor. These questions can help to determine if you have other injuries that haven’t appeared yet. Medical records are helpful evidence in your case.
What Benefits Do I Qualify For?
Workers’ compensation can provide many types of benefits, ranging from coverage of medical treatment to payments for disability. The benefits you qualify for depend on the nature of your injury and the amount of time that has passed since the accident. Workers compensation lawyers in New York can let you know how strong your case is and what benefits you can apply for.
Can I Sue My Employer?
The same no-fault system that applies to employees also applies to employers. It’s not generally possible to sue your employer if they provide workers’ comp coverage. However, you may be able to sue a third-party business if defective products were at fault for the accident, such as a poorly built ladder.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Exacerbation of Preexisting Conditions?
It is important to understand that if work-related activities have caused you harm and you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, chances are very, very good that you’re entitled to receive a properly valued payout for your claim. The major coverage exceptions for those who are eligible (and who have been hurt while engaged in work-related activities) involve harm caused while a worker was drunk or otherwise intoxicated or impaired while on the job, harm caused by a fight or altercation that the worker caused, and harm caused by a worker who was trying to get hurt in an effort to commit workers’ compensation insurance fraud. Otherwise, those eligible for these benefits are entitled to them, provided that their occupational illness or injury was work-related.
With that said, some claims are easier to prove than others. When a construction worker tumbles off scaffolding in front of dozens of witnesses, it isn’t easy for a workers’ compensation claims adjuster to argue that the resulting harm was caused by factors outside of the workplace. By contrast, many repetitive stress (also referred to as repetitive trauma) injuries and harm caused by exacerbation of preexisting conditions can be particularly difficult to prove. Workers’ compensation insurance representatives are trained to devalue and/or reject claims when possible, in an effort to avoid paying out more in benefits than is absolutely necessary. So, if an insurance claims adjuster can find reasons to devalue or reject a claim, they will.
Say that you sustained a shoulder injury in high school while playing varsity baseball. Ten years later, your work as a construction laborer began aggravating that old shoulder injury to the point where you now require surgery and physical therapy. In theory, workers’ compensation should cover the medical costs and lost wages associated with the exacerbation of your old injury because it was aggravated as a result of your work-related activities. However, the insurance claims adjuster in your case attempts to blame your efforts to play with your kids, work out regularly at a local gym, and home improvement projects for your shoulder injury aggravation. This hypothetical illustrates why it is so important to work with the experienced New York legal team at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. as soon as you decide to file a claim. We understand the obstacles that workers often face when attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim successfully and we know how to build the strongest possible case on your behalf – whether your injury is straightforward or not.
Are Undocumented Workers Entitled to Benefits?
Some states choose to deny workers’ compensation insurance coverage to workers who don’t possess proper immigration documentation. Thankfully, New York is not one of these states. Whether you are a documented or undocumented worker, if your worker classification entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits, you are empowered to file a legitimate claim without fear of either denial or retaliation.
Construction Site Accidents
While a worker in any occupation has the risk of becoming injured in work-related incidents, those in the construction industry are especially susceptible. In fact, the construction industry is considered one of the most dangerous industries for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction field suffers the highest percentage of on the job accidents and worker fatalities as compared to all other major American industries. In fact, of the 5,000 workers who die each year from job-related accidents, more than 20 percent of those victims are in the construction industry. If you or a loved one has suffered a construction site accident, one of the New York workers’ compensation lawyers from our firm can help you get the benefits you deserve.
TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS
While there is a myriad of different types of accidents that can occur on a construction site, OSHA has identified certain types of accidents as the most dangerous. These are referred to as the Fatal Four:
- Falls: Falls on construction sites are responsible for about 35 percent of all construction site deaths.
- Heavy objects: Workers getting hit by heavy objects, falling debris, or equipment are responsible for many construction site fatalities.
- Electrocutions: Construction on new structures, as well as construction on existing structures can result in electrocutions with live wiring being installed, as well as exposed while the work is going on. There is also the risk of electrocution from faulty tools or equipment.
- Getting caught: Also included in the fatal four are workers who became trapped between objects, such as machinery, equipment, or vehicles.
New York workers’ compensation lawyers know that the majority of these Fatal Four accidents are caused by the lack of proper safety procedures or poorly maintained worksites. For example, taking a look at the most frequently cited violations issued by OSHA inspectors – the failure to provide fall protection, improper scaffolding, lack of safety guards in machinery to prevent workers from being trapped, and poor communication about hazards between managers and workers – and you can see a direct correlation between those violations and the Fatal Four.
If You Are Injured on a Construction Site
In order to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to, it is important to report your injury as soon as possible to your supervisor. You also want to get medical attention right away, even if you don’t think the injury is serious. Complications could arise later and if you wait too long, your claim can be disputed.
Your employer will likely give you many forms to fill out. In order to make sure that no errors occur and that your claim is protected, it is best to contact one of our New York workers’ compensation lawyers to make sure that forms are filled out correctly and you are meeting any and all deadlines for submitting them.
WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYERS NEW YORK RESOURCES:
WHEN DO YOU REQUIRE A WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYER IN NEW YORK?
Whenever you stay in a disagreement with the insurance provider, you must consider employing a legal representative to help you. You will be required to gather proof in order to challenge the insurance company’s position, which may consist of taking depositions, requesting an independent medical examination, and hiring skilled witnesses– all of which require legal understanding and ability.
Examples of when to hire an attorney
Your claim is turned down. Insurance providers reject staff members’ compensation claims for a series of reasons. The insurance coverage company might declare that your injury wasn’t job-related or that you submitted your claim too late. You can combat the rejection through the employees’ payment system. While the appeals procedure differs from state to state, it typically requires you to send main documentation, use legal tools to collect evidence, and present your case at a hearing. If you are located in New York City it is best to call a workers’ compensation lawyer specific to that area.
You have a pre-existing condition. If you have a pre-existing injury or condition including the same body part you injured at work, you’ll be handling an uphill battle with the insurance provider. The insurance company will likely blame your injury on your previous condition instead of your work activities. This is particularly true if your injury has actually developed gradually with time, instead of throughout a single work accident. If you have a pre-existing condition you might require a workers’ settlement legal representative situated in NY.
You’re having problems getting the treatment you require. Insurers often turn down or hold up in authorizing costly medical treatments, such as surgical procedures. A lawyer can put pressure on the insurance coverage supplier to license needed medical treatments in a prompt manner.
Your capability to work has actually been affected. If you cannot work again, you’ll need to optimize your employees’ settlement benefits and structure them in such a way to last into the future.
You’re getting other federal government advantages. If you’re getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) advantages, these advantages may be lowered if you get employees’ payment benefits. A legal agent can assist you in determining how much your SSDI benefits will be decreased. If you are qualified for Medicare, you might also be required to reserve a part of your workers’ compensation advantages to spend for future medical treatment.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Settlements in New York
It is possible to settle your New York Workers’ Comp claim if you choose a stipulation or a Section 32 settlement. Both types of settlement must be submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board for approval.
Upon the creation of a stipulation agreement, you and the insurance company have agreed to certain facts. At this point, both you and the insurance company may agree that you have a scheduled loss of use. The insurance company will pay the agreed upon benefits if the workers’ compensation board approves your agreement. Also, stipulation agreements may be changed.
Section 32 Settlements
A Section 32 settlement is a full and final settlement of your workers’ compensation claim. Section 32 settlements require you to release all claims against your employer if they arise out of your work injury. A New York workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to tell you if your claim could potentially qualify for section 32 settlement.
In many cases, a Section 32 settlement will be more limited. A limited settlement may allow you to continue receiving medical benefits in the future, but may end your wage loss claims. Section 32 settlements are somewhat rare. Most insurance companies would rather close a workers’ compensation claim and not pay benefits than leave claims partially open.
Other settlements are usually paid in a lump sum, while Section 32 settlements are paid over time. When a settlement is paid over time, it is commonly classified as a structured settlement.
Typically, structured settlements are used in catastrophic claims or when a worker needs long-term care. They give a worker steady income through scheduled payments (weekly, monthly or annually). Many structured settlements could also include an up-front payment to help with medical bills and other expenses. (For more information, see our general article about workers’ compensation settlements.)
Structured settlements can be used in catastrophic claims or when a worker needs long-term care so that the injured worker receives steady income through scheduled payments while they are otherwise unable to work or are recovering from their injuries. An up-front payment is included in many structured settlements.
Determining your settlement amount
There is no simple formula for valuing a workers’ compensation claim, this is the main reason workers’ compensation lawyers are hired. A lawyer will work to help workers evaluate settlement offers and negotiate with the insurance company due to the complexity of New York workers’ compensation laws.
When evaluating a settlement offer, one should consider several factors, including:
- How much is it likely you are owed in permanent disability benefits?
- The potential cost of future medical bills.
- Any temporary disability payments that the insurance company failed to pay.
- Any unpaid medical bills to date.
- Any penalties that the insurance company owes you for failing to pay your benefits on time.
3 Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome results when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed. It causes numbness, tingling, weakness and pain in the affected hand and fingers. Permanent nerve damage can occur if the condition is not treated. Treatment options include activity modification, splints, pain medication, nerve gliding exercises and cortisone injections. Workers compensation lawyers in New York may be able to help you with a work-related carpal tunnel claim.
Bursitis results from inflammation in structures within joints called bursa. There are more than 150 bursae located in your body. Bursae help reduce the friction in joints. Bursa consists of a thin sac that contains a small amount of synovial fluid. Joints with healthy bursae can move with a minimum amount of friction between muscles, bones and tendons. However, when bursitis occurs, the inflamed bursae can hinder movement and result in pain and swelling. Bursitis is most commonly caused by repetitive joint stress and is common in manual labor occupations, such as construction.
Symptoms include swelling, pain, warmth and stiffness. Pain caused by bursitis is usually worse during and after activity. Common treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, ice application, rest and short-term immobilization. Corticosteroid injections or surgery may be used to treat chronic bursitis. If you believe your bursitis is caused by work-related activity, workers compensation lawyers in New York at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. may be able to help you get compensation.
Tendonitis is an acute inflammation of tendons that connect muscle to bone. It may cause a decrease in muscle strength, pain and loss of mobility. Pain may be felt at the site where the tendon attaches to the bone or where a muscle and tendon connect. Because tendons have limited blood supply, they tend to heal slowly when injured. Tendonitis usually affects tendons that have the least amount of blood supply.
Tendonitis is often caused by the overuse of a tendon during work activities, such as assembly line work. People over the age of 40 have a higher risk of developing the condition. The most common sites of work-related tendonitis are the Achilles tendon, the knees, the elbow, the biceps, the wrists and the rotator cuffs. Symptoms include swelling, pain, tenderness, a cracking or grating sensation, stiffness and lumps or bulges.
The condition may be treated with anti-inflammatories, limitation of movement and rehabilitation. If you need help with a tendonitis claim, workers compensation lawyers in New York at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. may be able to assist you.
New York Workers Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation settlements require a high level of legal knowledge and skill, and you must be able to give your claim a monetary value, negotiate with the insurance company, complete settlement forms, and comply with other state and federal laws. You don’t have to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to settle your claim, but it’s probably in your best interest to do so.
A settlement is when you agree to give up your rights to collect workers’ compensation benefits related to your injury. If you are going to sign a settlement agreement, you should have a workers’ compensation lawyer review it.
If you can never ever work once again, you’ll need to enhance your workers’ compensation benefits and structure them in a method to last well into the future. If you’re getting Social Security Special needs Insurance Coverage (SSDI) advantages, these advantages might be lowered if you get employees’ payment benefits. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may likewise be required to set aside a part of your payment advantages to invest for future medical treatment. If you are looking for a workers’ compensation lawyer in NY you should reach out to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. today.
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