Workers Compensation Lawyers Queens NY
As our Workers Compensation Lawyers Queens NY residents trust at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. knows all too well, sometimes employers fail to provide a reasonably safe environment for their employees, which can lead to an accident where someone gets hurt. When this happens, it is important that appropriate steps are taken so that employees get the care they need to recover. If you or someone you care about was recently involved in a workplace accident and were injured, then we advise getting a free consultation from our law office right away.
Get Medical Care the Same Day
If you were injured in a workplace accident, it is crucial that you tell your employer and see a doctor the same day. This doctor is likely to be a previously assigned physician who was chosen by your employer, to examine employees who are injured on the job. Depending on the state you live in, you may be entitled to get a second opinion from your own personal doctor.
If you do not get medical care and report the incident the same day, the insurance provider for your employer may doubt your claim. Any delay in filing a report and seeing a doctor can hinder your chances at being approved for maximum workers comp benefits. It is imperative that you act quickly, communicate what happened immediately, and watch out for your own interests.
Filing a Report with Your Employer
If your employer has a workers compensation program for the company and you tell them about a workplace injury, they will most likely respond by having you fill out a report so you can detail how the event occurred and what injuries you sustained. In situations where a workers comp program is available, but your employer either discourages you from filing or otherwise mishandles your claim, this is when intervention from our Workers Compensation Lawyers in Queens, New York is strongly advised.
Following Up and Watching Out For Retaliation
In the days and weeks after the workplace injury, talk with your supervisors about the status of your workers comp application and request information about the process. They should be open and willing to do this for you. However, if they are not, you may need legal assistance. It is not uncommon for an employer to wrongfully discourage an employee from filing for workers comp in order to save the company money, or committing retaliation against them in the following ways:
- Yelling, threatening, or harassing
- Moving employee to another department
- Decreasing pay wage
- Hindering promotional opportunities
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Intentionally causing the claim to be delayed or denied
As our Queens workers compensation lawyers can explain, an employer is not allowed to treat you differently in an adverse way for reporting a workplace accident, requesting to fill out workers compensation paperwork, or utilizing your workers compensation benefits. Workers are protected by law from mistreatment for filing for or using benefits that are rightfully available to them. Keep in mind that retaliation may be subliminal or outright obvious. Employees may be distraught to learn that their employer has suddenly changed how they treat them, and they may worry for the future of their career.
Despite leaving grade school, the silent treatment may still be something a person uses to show they are unhappy with someone else. It is actually one of the ways that an employer and/or coworkers may punish an employee for reporting a workplace accident injury. This is especially true if the accident was the fault of the employer, but had brought to light ways they failed to provide a safe working environment.
Unfortunately, many workplaces have a culture instilled that workers should just accept when injuries happen to them and not say anything about it. This type of culture may prevent people from coming forward when they really should. Toxic work environments can brew distrust and resentment, and even more so in the case when an employee is seriously injured at work and is essentially unfairly punished for it.
Moving an employee to another department or switching their shifts, and perhaps in a way that conflicts with other known obligations, may have been done on purpose. Creating scheduling hardships intentionally may be a tactic to get an employee to quit altogether. Situations that make your life more difficult is a common way that retaliation shows itself in the workplace.
Another workplace retaliation tactic is passing over an employee who fairly deserves a promotion or raise. Let’s say that you applied for a promotion, and your manager gave you a recommendation that shines. It seems that being promoted to a new role and a new department is going to happen, but then, you are part of a workplace injury accident. Next thing you realize, this job opportunity just falls through without explanation and is given to someone new or under-qualified in the department. Maybe your boss gives you a vague answer or cold shoulder when you bring it up with them. And no one seems to have a reason for why you were dropped from consideration. Your employer may have engaged in retaliation against you by passing you over for a deserved, and almost expected, promotion or raise.
It’s not uncommon for employees to experience more bullying or harassment after reporting a workplace injury accident. As our Queens lawyers workers compensation team may discuss, if you were injured because an employer hadn’t provided safety equipment for you, yet the culture in the workplace is you shouldn’t complain about injuries, then it can set you up for being a victim even among your own coworkers. Those who go against a workplace culture, even if it’s unhealthy, dangerous, and toxic, can become vulnerable to retaliation.
Other Reasons Why You Might Want to Hire a Lawyer
Of course, an employer might be more than willing to help you file your worker’s comp claim, and you may feel no backlash whatsoever in the workplace. Ideally, your employer shouldn’t display any amount of hostility or retaliation and keep things as confidential as possible. However, that doesn’t mean the process will still be smooth sailing. Here are some other reasons why you might need a lawyer:
Do You Need Help With Filling Out and Submitting the Necessary Paperwork?
The law is constantly changing, and it’s important to know the latest requirements. While your workplace should be able to help, they may not be up to date with all of the requirements or might be unwilling to help. An attorney can help make this process much easier.
Is There a Third Party Involved?
Sometimes in a workplace-related injury, a third party might be involved, making the process more complicated. For example, if you deliver packages for a living and you get into a crash with a third-party vehicle. Your workplace might be held at fault, but so can the other driver, especially if they were clearly negligent. An attorney can help settle the issue and ensure you receive the proper compensation.
Is Your Workplace’s Insurance Company Making the Process Hard?
Your employer might be more than willing to help you file your claim, but that doesn’t mean the workplace’s insurance company will feel the same. An insurance company may try various strategies to prevent you from receiving worker’s compensation. They may claim you had prior injuries or medical conditions that caused or heightened the injury, they may claim you violated work policies or will offer you an inadequate settlement.
What If an Injury Leaves You Permanently Disabled?
Hopefully, an injury will only put you on worker’s compensation for a brief window of time, and you’ll be able to return to work soon. Other times, however, an injury can cause you to miss work for several months or even years. Additionally, an injury can leave you permanently disabled—or, at the very least, unable to perform your last specific job. It’s possible to get worker’s compensation when permanently disabled. This allows people with permanent disabilities not to need to work. Additionally, it’s possible to get job vocational or rehabilitation training paid for. For example, while an injury might render you unable to perform your warehouse job, a training program can help you pursue an office job.
Will Your Case Go to Trial?
Although trials make for good TV, the vast majority of cases regarding personal injuries and job-related injuries don’t make it to trial. The main reasons are that building a case for trial takes a lot of time and money, and a trial can always be unpredictable. Instead, both parties prefer settling before a case goes to trial. However, a case can always go to trial, and you want to ensure your attorney is willing to represent you if that does happen.
Five Common Types of Workplace Related Injuries
While any injury or sickness that occurs in the workplace might be eligible for workers’ compensation, some categories occur more often than others. Let’s look at five common types of workplace-related injuries:
- Slips and Falls
Slips and falls can occur at any job and may simply be triggered by a floor not being properly mopped. After experiencing a fall, a worker can face injuries ranging from simple bruising to broken bones that take them out of commission for several weeks to life-altering traumatic brain injuries. It’s your workplace’s responsibility to provide a safe environment, and slippery floors with obstructions can quickly lead to injury.
- Car or Truck Accidents
Many jobs require an employee to drive a motor vehicle or to be present in a motor vehicle at least during part of their employment. While most workplace motor vehicle accidents are associated with delivery truck drivers, car or truck accidents occur frequently. Whether you drive every day as part of your job or get into an accident on a yearly business trip, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation. Some exceptions might be if a driver is intoxicated or violates any road rules.
- Injuries From Falling Objects
Falling objects can also cause workplace injuries, leading to serious medical attention and time off work. Although commonly associated with construction and warehouse jobs, falling objects can happen in any workplace. For example, a tile falling off a ceiling or a heavy object falling off a shelf or filing cabinet. You might be entitled to workers’ compensation when damaged by a falling object during work. Even a small object that falls from high heights can cause severe injury.
- Machinery Accidents
Many jobs require their employees to operate machinery that can cause injury. While people tend to think of heavy machinery like compactors or electric tools causing injury, even office settings may use machinery that can trigger an injury. It’s your employer’s responsibility to ensure that all heavy machinery is safe and operating the way it should be. Additionally, employees need to be trained on how to properly operate machinery. For example, a bailer or compactor might be perfectly safe but having an employee operate one when they don’t know the proper protocols can still cause injury. Sometimes a workplace might argue that the employee is at fault because they didn’t apply the necessary safety precautions or were “horseplaying.” When this happens, it’s vital to contact workers’ compensation lawyers in Queens, NY.
- Sickness, Illness, or Disease
Many jobs require employees to work with chemicals that might not be the safest. When hearing work-place related sickness or illness, people often think of coal miners developing black lung disease from inhaling coal dust. However, sickness, illness, and diseases can manifest in many ways; even jobs people don’t typically think of can cause these issues. For example, a cashier stocking lawn care treatments all day can experience side effects from chemical exposure, which can eventually lead to health problems down the road. Unfortunately, linking sickness, illness, or disease back to working conditions is generally a harder case to prove and may require help from a lawyer.
If any of the above information resonates with what you are dealing with at work after a workplace injury, then it’s time to get assistance. Please call Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. to speak with our Queens, NY Workers Compensation Lawyers about your options and how we can safeguard your interests during this time.
FIVE COMMON TYPES OF WORKPLACE RELATED INJURIES INFOGRAPHIC
How to Avoid Costly Workers Compensation Claims
For any business, workers compensation claims can be a costly and time-consuming problem according to Queens NY workers compensation lawyers that deal with these cases daily. Fortunately, there are steps employers can take to reduce the risk of these claims and protect their company from unnecessary costs. Making small internal changes such as developing a clear policy for reporting accidents and injuries, ensuring employees have access to necessary safety equipment, and training staff on workplace safety can help protect your business from costly claims. If your business is facing one of these, contact an attorney today at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for help.
Ensure that each employee has access to accurate information about workplace safety, injury prevention and workers compensation benefits. Consider having a comprehensive safety training program to make sure everyone in your organization understands the importance of safety protocols. You should also provide refresher courses and updated information as new developments or regulations come into effect. Additionally, if an accident does occur, your employees should be aware of the proper protocol for reporting it. Make sure they know who to report to and when, as well as how to file a claim if needed.
Policies and Procedures
Having a comprehensive and clearly communicated set of policies and procedures for safety, health and workers’ compensation is a key component to avoiding costly claims. This includes having an employee handbook or manual that outlines workplace safety regulations and expectations, as well as providing regular training on how to identify and report potential hazards and injuries. Additionally, employers should review their policies and procedures on a regular basis and make any necessary changes. It’s important to ensure all staff are aware of the guidelines and that they’re following them. All relevant documents should be stored securely, along with up-to-date contact information for staff members who can answer questions and provide support if needed.
Regular inspections of the workplace can help identify any potential safety hazards or areas that need to be improved before they become a problem. It’s important to establish a system of regular inspections and to document them in writing. You should inspect all areas of the workplace, including the physical environment, equipment, and work processes. Make sure that any dangerous or hazardous conditions, such as damaged machinery or unsafe stairways, are addressed immediately. Additionally, consider having an expert in occupational safety conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
Employers should be proactive in reporting any workplace injuries or illnesses to their workers compensation insurance carrier as soon as possible. This should include documenting any workplace accidents or illnesses on a workers compensation report. In addition, employers must make sure to document the employee’s job description, the incident report, and any witness statements. Doing so ensures that all necessary information has been provided to the insurance carrier and that it is accurately reflected in the insurance claim. It is also important for employers to notify the workers compensation board of the incident in the event that there are any future legal disputes from Queens workers compensation lawyers. Employers should also contact their Human Resources department for additional guidance when it comes to reporting a workplace injury or illness.
Provide comprehensive training to your staff on safety protocols and workers’ compensation procedures. Make sure they understand the importance of following all safety regulations, as well as reporting any injuries that may occur. Keeping employees updated on any changes to workplace policies or practices can help minimize potential risks. Additionally, consider implementing refresher courses for staff to ensure all necessary safety measures are being followed.
If you are facing an expensive claim, contact Queens workers compensation lawyers at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for help.
Workers Compensation FAQs
If you’ve recently been injured at work, you may want to speak with Queens NY workers compensation lawyers from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. A lawyer can help you file a timely workers compensation claim and protect your legal rights. He or she will guide through the entire process and give you peace of mind.
Why Do Workers Compensation Claims Get Denied?
Many initial workers compensation claims get denied for one reason or another. For example, if your employer doesn’t believe that you were injured at work or you have a preexisting injury, they may decide to reject your claim. Likewise, if you didn’t report your injury by deadline, your claim can get rejected. While it can be discouraging to get your initial claim denied, you don’t have to give up. If you believe that your employer wrongfully denied your claim, you can file an appeal.
Can I Still Get Workers Compensation Benefits If the Accident Was My Fault?
This is a common question that people have when filing for workers compensation benefits. They may worry that they can’t receive compensation if the accident was their fault. However, fault isn’t actually a factor considered in workers compensation cases. Therefore, if you got into an accident because you weren’t paying attention, you can still get compensated. On the other hand, if you got hurt while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your workers compensation claim will be denied.
Can I Obtain Workers Compensation Benefits If There Were No Witnesses?
Yes. As Queens workers compensation lawyers can confirm, witnesses have no bearing on a workers compensation case. In fact, witnesses aren’t usually present at a work accident. As long as you were injured while performing work duties, you may be eligible for benefits. Just be sure to notify your employer about your injuries as soon as possible. In New York, you’re required to report work injuries within 30 days of the accident.
Should I Disclose Pre-Existing Injuries?
Absolutely. Some workers may neglect to tell their doctor about pre-existing injuries because they’re afraid their case will get denied. However, trying to hide pre-existing injuries can hurt your case even more. It’s actually quite common for people to injure the same area more than once. It doesn’t mean that your current injury isn’t legitimate. You may still receive compensation for it. However, if your employer is trying to reject your claim because of a pre-existing injury, you should let your lawyer know.
Can I Make a Claim Against a Third-Part for My Injuries?
Yes, if a third-party contributed to your work injuries in some way, you may be able to file a separate third-party claim against them and receive higher compensation. For instance, if you drive as part of your job and were in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may have a third-party claim. Likewise, if you were injured by faulty equipment at work, you may file a claim against the manufacturer.
Schedule a consultation with Queens workers compensation lawyers from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C.