Our attorneys can get involved in your claim at ANY stage; from filing the initial application, assisting you, if your claim was denied, helping you get your benefits reinstated, if the insurance company stopped payments before you were capable of returning to work.
Workers’ compensation law deals with employment benefits and that the term “disability” generally refers to inability to work
If you have recently been hurt while on the job, or have developed a disease or lingering physical impairment (occupational disease) as a result of your employment, you may be entitled to payments to compensate you for your medical expenses and lost wages. This is because you are protected by the New York workers’ compensation system, which provides benefits to injured employees.
When you seek our legal advice and guidance, we assist you in getting the medical care you need to regain your good health so that you can return to work and we evaluate the circumstances and details concerning your occupational illness in order to file your workers’ comp claim.
Have you been exposed to toxins or other substances on the job?
Have you developed an illness because of something in your work environment?
Has your job caused PTSD, depression or some other mental disorder?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages or required medical treatment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can take charge of the exacting claims process, represent you at administrative hearings and help you obtain the cash and medical benefits to which you are entitled.
Our firm represents individuals who have contracted work-related medical conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome, toxic inhalation or occupational asthma
- Rashes, infections or other dermatological conditions
- Mental illness, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorder, or depression
- Vision and hearing loss
Steps to Make a Claim:
- Report the accident to your employer/supervisor as soon as possible and get a copy of the report.
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries, describing each effected and make sure to tell the doctor the injury is work related.
- Obtain the names and addresses of all the witnesses to the accident.
- Do not speak to anyone else about your claim other than your doctor.
A New York employer’s liability for on-the-job injuries is generally limited to payment of workers’ compensation benefits. Under New York law, an employee cannot directly sue his employer, with rare exception. However, if an employee in NY, whether in Clifton Park, Albany or elsewhere, suffers a “grave injury,” the employer could be held liable to indemnify or contribute to the injured party in the context of a “third party” lawsuit. That is, the injured employee should bring a lawsuit against the third-party who caused his or her injury, and the third-party could bring the employer into the lawsuit, to “contribute” to or share liability for the injury and damages.
However, if no “grave injury” has been suffered, the injured worker can only attempt to recover damages for personal injuries from other people or entities that have a connection to the worksite. Commonly, lawsuits arising from construction accidents are ones in which the employer is brought into the case under the “grave injury” exception.
According to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, an occupational disease arises from the conditions to which a specific type of worker is exposed. The disease must be produced as a natural incident of a particular occupation, such as asbestosis from asbestos removal.
A person disabled by a work-related occupational disease receives the same benefits as for an on-the job injury. However, the time limit for filing a claim is the later of two dates:
- Two years from the date of the disabled worker’s disability; or
- Two years from the time the disabled worker knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of employment.
(In the case of death, the dependents must file within the stated time limits).
When a worker becomes ill from an occupational disease, he/she may be disabled even if there is no lost time from work. For purposes of determining the employee’s right to benefits, the date of disablement is determined by a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge.
Occupational Hearing Loss
In the event of occupational loss of hearing, other time limits apply. The waiting period for a worker to file a claim is his/her choice of:
- Three months from the date the worker is removed from the harmful noise in the workplace; or
- Three months after leaving the employment in which the exposure to the harmful noise occurred.
The last day of either 3-month period is considered the date the disability began. The worker may file beyond the two-year limit, if it is done within ninety days of knowledge that the hearing loss is related to his/her employment.