Being injured at your job can be devastating, physically and financially. If you find yourself in a situation where your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you first need to determine whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, which most employers are required by law to have. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, an experienced New York, NY construction injury lawyer can help you to file a claim efficiently and effectively so that you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.
However, many construction workers in New York are employed as contractors and are therefore not covered by workers’ compensation. In such cases, the legal team at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. can help injured workers determine whether they have been misclassified as contractors (and are therefore eligible for workers’ compensation benefits) or they may obtain compensation via a legal claim. Either way, an experienced New York, NY construction injury lawyer should be consulted in the wake of a construction-related work injury severe enough to limit an individual’s ability to work for any length of time. Once you have received guidance and support from our team, you can make an informed decision about how best to move forward.
To maintain your financial stability while being unable to work due to work-related injuries or illness, you must follow your state’s filing procedures so your claim is more likely accepted. While all state laws vary somewhat, most require you to report the incident to your employer within a specified period of time (the sooner the better) and some states require a written notice. Once you complete this step, you can fill out the paperwork for the workers’ comp state or third-party office. If you are concerned about retaliation, consider speaking with a New York, NY construction injury lawyer before reporting your accident.
The benefits you are eligible for depend on where you live and whether you’ll be able to return to your original job or need a modified position that your employer can offer to you based on any permanent disabilities. Most states allow you to receive about two thirds of your normal income while you’re out of work, up to your state’s limits. Because these funds are not taxable, your standard of living should not be badly affected. These benefits are called “temporary total disability”. Once you begin receiving medical treatment, the doctor’s office will in most cases bill your employer or the workers’ comp directly.
If your injuries require you to work a lighter job which also pays less, some states have “loss of earning power” benefits where your employer must pay you some of the difference between what you used to earn and what you now earn.
Once your workers’ comp claim is closed, you stop receiving benefits unless:
You were given a pension and declared fully and permanently disabled: A pension through workers’ comp is given to individuals who are declared totally disabled and unable to ever return to work in a meaningful manner. This usually amounts to a percentage of your original wages.
You were partially disabled and expect to receive a weekly sum: If you are only partially disabled, workers’ comp can pay you a smaller amount regularly to make up for your inability to hold a position that pays as much as your original job where you were injured.
You agreed on a structured settlement: Some states allow your employer to pay you small amounts over time rather than a lump sum if you are permanently disabled.
If you have been injured at work and are not sure which option is right for your situation, consult a New York, NY construction injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and your medical bills are covered.