If you or a loved one suffer an injury on the job, the most immediate concern will obviously be obtaining necessary medical treatment to begin the recovery process. After all, if you do not have your health, nothing else matters. For most Bronx workers, however, the next immediate concern will be the ability to get back to work to earn a living to support their families who count on them. Whether by way of a construction accident, a trip-and-fall accident at work, or otherwise, any serious work injury that causes a worker to be unable to get back to earning their living can cause extreme anxiety and financial hardship. It is for this reason that New York State requires that every employer provide its workers with workers’ compensation insurance, which includes insurance coverage for lost wages – known as “indemnity” payments – in case a worker suffers a work-related injury that leaves them unable to work on a permanent or temporary basis. Under the right circumstances, these benefits are available “for life”, but only if a permanent disability is properly proven, a process that usually requires the assistance of skilled workers’ compensation lawyers.
Despite the broad entitlement to lost wages compensation under the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, obtaining – and keeping – all of the benefits to which an injured worker is entitled is not an easy process. These workers’ compensation benefits are generally paid by insurance companies on behalf of employers, and these companies always hire lawyers whose mission it is to minimize, or even deny entirely, payments to workers who have been injured on the job. For this reason, you need skilled workers’ compensation lawyers of your own to level the playing field and ensure that you receive the full amount of all lost wages payments that you deserve under the workers’ compensation system. Our expert Bronx accident lawyers dedicate their practice to assisting injured Bronx workers recover their lost wages when they are injured, and invite you to contact us today at (718) 354-8000 to discuss your rights. If we take your case, you will never have to pay us out of your own pocket.
What is the Legal Basis for Entitlement to Workers’ Compensation Lost Wages Benefits?
Section 10 of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law provides that all employers throughout the State of New York are required to provide all workers with compensation for any disability or death from an injury “arising out of and in the course of” their employment without regard to fault. Though there are certain exceptions to this requirement (e.g., if the injury or death results solely due to the employee having been intoxicated on the job, or if the injury or death is purposefully self-inflicted), according to the statutory language, compensation for on-the-job injuries is broadly available to injured workers throughout the Bronx and New York City. Section 14 of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law provides that the workers’ average weekly wage at the time of the accident in question shall be the basis upon which available lost wages compensation shall be computed, and workers are usually awarded a certain percentage of their pre-accident weekly wage which percentage is determined based upon certain factors.
What is the Process Through Which Workers’ Compensation Indemnity Benefits are Determined?
As of July 1, 2017, the maximum weekly payout for lost wages compensation permitted under the Workers’ Compensation Law is $864.32 per week. However, not every worker will automatically receive the maximum weekly rate, no matter how high their pre-accident average weekly earnings may have been. That is because, under the rules and regulations underlying the Workers’ Compensation Law, workers must prove that they are disabled due to the work injury in order to be entitled to receive any benefits. The higher the degree of proven disability on a percentage basis (i.e., is the worker only 10% disabled, or 100% disabled?), the more weekly lost wages compensation will be available to them. The degree of disability is proven by the submission of reports from the injured worker’s treating physicians – on a form known as “Form C4” – to the Workers’ Compensation Board (the administrative body created to oversee the New York workers’ compensation system), as well as through independent medical examination reports prepared by doctors hired by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Injured workers will also have to attend hearings before a Workers’ Compensation judge – a special judge who is more of an administrator than an actual judge, and whose authority is limited to deciding issues arising within workers’ compensation claims – who will take the testimony of the injured worker, and evaluate the evidence submitted in support, and against, the injured workers’ claim for lost wages. This process is arduous and fraught with risk for an unrepresented worker, as the insurance company whose responsibility it is to pay benefits to the worker will always hire attorneys to attempt to persuade the judge to reduce or deny the injured worker’s claims for compensation.
To ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is supported by the right medical opinions and other key evidence, you must hire expert workers’ compensation lawyers who will send you to the right doctors and guide you through this process and ensure that nothing is left on the table. Having skilled Bronx accident lawyers in your corner can make the difference between full compensation, and no compensation at all, even though the workers’ compensation laws are generally liberal in entitling workers to lost wages benefits if they are injured.
If I am Disabled From Working, Can I Obtain a Cash Settlement From my Workers’ Compensation Claims?
If you are determined to have been permanently disabled – whether partially or totally disabled – from working due to an on-the-job injury, skilled Bronx accident lawyers may be able to use the workers’ compensation laws to obtain a lump-sum cash settlement of your workers’ compensation claims. Because workers’ compensation benefits are available for life (i.e., an injured worker can claim benefits for their entire lifetime if they can prove that they are permanently disabled due to a work injury), workers’ compensation insurance carriers are often willing to settle the claim, rather than remain responsible for a lifetime of payments for lost wages and medical costs. Under Section 32 of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, injured workers can agree to settle their claims permanently in exchange for a lump sum cash payment. The size of the settlement will generally be based upon the insurance carrier’s future liability for lost wages and medical payments (i.e., the more medical treatment and lost wages compensation that will be required to be paid in the future, the larger the settlement will be).
Before settling your New York workers’ compensation claims, however, you should always consult with experienced Bronx accident lawyers to make sure that any settlement proposed by an insurance company is truly in your best interests. We will assist you in obtaining the highest possible settlement of your workers’ compensation claims if you are permanently disabled from working due to a work accident, and are standing by to discuss your options with you if you contact us online or call us at (718) 354-8000 today.
Speak to a Skilled Bronx Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Rights to Compensation
Our Bronx personal injury lawyers have devoted their careers to assisting the injured throughout the Bronx and New York City obtain compensation when they are injured. If you have a workers’ compensation claim, our accident lawyers offer to analyze your case to determine whether, in addition to claims for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to bring a third-party lawsuit if someone other than your employer was negligent and contributed to causing your accident. No matter what type of case you may have – be it a premises liability claim, a car accident case, or a pure workers’ compensation claim – our firm never requires that you pay us out of your own pocket, and offers truly free consultations no matter what type of case you may have. Se habla espanol.