The workers' compensation experts at Steenberg Law are here to help.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury at work or developed an injury over time from your work, then you could be entitled to Workers compensation benefits. New York State Workers Compensation include (2) two main benefits: (1) monetary payments for lost wages, and (2) covered medical treatment. It does not matter in a Workers Compensation case whether your employer or co-worker is at fault or not for your injury. New York State is a “No-Fault” Workers Compensation system.
Whether you need help establishing your workers’ comp case or you are not happy with how your existing case is going – Steenberg Law Firm can help. We know you have many questions, let us provide the answers you are looking for. If you chose Steenberg Law Firm, we would be by your side step-by-step in every aspect of your case and aggressively fight for you in court.
It is important to keep in mind that it is the insurance company’s primary goal to not pay you or pay you the least amount of money as possible. Unless you have an attorney representing you, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to pay you less than what you’re entitled to. Many insurance company representatives pretend to be on your side, but be assured they are not.
A worker's compensation settlement process generally begins with an offer from the insurance company and employer. This could include payment for medical bills, unpaid benefits, or the cost of future treatments. If your injury has left you permanently impaired, you might also be entitled to a disability award.
A work injury settlement can be administered in a lump sum or a structured payment plan. A lump sum payment will award you with a one-time payment to cover medical costs and benefits under the claim. In a structured payment, you will receive regular payments over a specified period of time.
When we negotiate your settlement, we will take your expenses into account, including balances on medical bills, the likelihood of future treatments such as surgery or physical therapy, lost wages, disability payments, and attorney fees. Once the calculation is finalized, we will negotiate with your insurance company to agree on a settlement amount. This might take weeks or months to finalize; your role in the process will be to keep the lines of communication open and remain patient. Our team will fight diligently for you.
It is important to get medical treatment immediately. Tell the doctor how the injury occurred and emphasize to the doctor that it happened at work. Also, tell your supervisor or boss about the accident or injury immediately. Depending on the type of injury you suffered, the law requires you tell your employer about it within a certain period of time. You should file a workers’ comp claim immediately as there are time limitations.
In New York, when an individual misses time from work due to a work injury, they are generally entitled to (2/3) two-thirds of their average weekly wage (up to a maximum rate per week). The “average weekly wage” is the amount you earned, on a weekly basis, in the year before to your injury. This bi-weekly monetary benefit you receive when your injury causes you to miss work is commonly called “indemnity benefits” or “wage replacement benefits.” Additionally, depending on the type of injury you have, you could also be entitled to a lump sum award near the end of your case.
Injured workers have a right to medical care. Medical care is necessary not only for your recovery, but it also documents the injury for the court. When an individual has an accident, they should see a doctor immediately and follow up at least every three months. If you have an established workers’ comp case, then medical treatment for your work injury is covered for life as long as the treatment you get is related to that same work injury.
You may also qualify for a personal injury casein addition to your New York Workers Compensation claim. This is referred to as a “third party personal injury” case because it is against someone other than your employer.
Remember, the insurance company does not want to pay you. Unless you have an experienced attorney, it is legally possible for the insurance company to pay you less than what you are actually entitled to.
Workers' Compensation FAQs:
For most personal injury lawsuits, there is no fee unless you collect money yourself. Buffalo, NY Personal Injury attorneys typically charge a one-third contingency fee. When the claim is resolved, the attorney’s law firm gets reimbursed for expenses paid out of the award and then the attorney receives a one-third fee.
No-Fault insurance pays for various expenses for people injured in New York car accidents. It applies to the occupants of a car (also includes pickups, SUVs, and most vehicles, but not motorcycle drivers or passengers), and also to pedestrians and bicyclists who are hit by a car.
Submit your medical expenses and lost wages to the No-Fault insurance company, which is the insurance company for the car you were in (or the car that hit you if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist). They should provide you with the necessary paperwork. We can help you figure out which company to contact.
Make sure your doctors and other health care providers know that your case involves a car accident and that all expenses should be covered by No-Fault. They will need to know the name of the insurance company along with the policy number and/or claim number.
New York personal injury law provides compensation and justice for various types of personal injuries which a victim has suffered. Personal injury law provides compensation for those injuries which resulted from negligence. This negligence could be on the part of some individual, authority, hospital or even New York State authorities. The purpose of personal injury law is to provide financial compensation to the victims of auto accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice and negligence.
New York personal injury law provides compensation claim for various types of injuries as well as for conscious pain, suffering and trauma. Sometimes, the spouse of a victim can even recover compensation. Some additional damages are also covered such as damage to the vehicle/property, lost earnings, medical bills and several others.
If you or someone you know sustained injuries due to negligence of some individual or authority then you usually have a case. Before you file a personal injury lawsuit you must consider various factors which can affect the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit. We suggest you call our office so we can help assess your case and let you know what the next step should be.
Yes, there is a time limit to bring a personal injury lawsuit — this is called the Statute of Limitations. The New York Statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the actual date of accident/personal injury. A Notice of claim involving municipalities and/or government authorities should be filed within 90 days and a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within 1 year and 90 days.
Some common types of personal injury cases in New York include: auto and motorcycle accidents, Truck accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents, wrongful death claims, Nursing home neglect, workplace accidents, dog bite injuries, injuries to children on property.
When someone dies through the negligent act of another, a wrongful death claim can result. In a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the estate of a deceased person is authorized to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the person’s death. A wrongful death case can arise from any type of personal injury case including medical malpractice , automobile accidents , construction accidents , airplane accidents and all other torts.
Sometimes. Generally, if someone was injured at work, that person’s only remedy or course of action is to file a Workers’ Comp claim. However, an exception arises when a “third party” (i.e. someone other than your employer or co-worker) is involved in causing your work injury. It is then possible to sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit. But note, you still cannot sue your employer, only the third party involved.
If you are not working, the amount a workman’s compensation claimant can receive depends on the degree of disability as estimated by medical doctors or chiropractors. Degree of disability is a major area of dispute in compensation cases as insurance company doctors tend to minimize the degree of disability. Often, medical testimony will be taken by deposition to allow the Workers’ Compensation Law Judge to resolve the issue of degree of disability.
If you are totally disabled or 100% disabled — you are entitled to received the highest weekly payment amount, which is 2/3 of your average weekly earnings before your injury.
Yes. At Steenberg Law Firm, attorney Jeffrey M. Steenberg handles every Workers’ Compensation case. Jeff has handled and litigated every type of work injury case imaginable. Prior to establishing his own workers’ compensation law firm, Jeff worked as an attorney at Connors & Ferris, another large work injury law firm in Buffalo, NY. Since then, Jeff’s case load has almost been exclusively workers’ compensation cases. This has allowed Jeff to specialize in and master New York State Workers’ Compensation laws. Jeff has a tendency to take the more complex workers’ compensation cases that other law firms will not take. Let Jeff’s experience work for you.
When an individual is injured on the job, the first responsibility is to give notice to the employer. Second, they should see their doctor as soon as possible after the accident and report all injuries sustained in the accident. Finally, the injured worker should seek the advice of an attorney about filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Average weekly wage (AWW) is generally determined by reviewing and average what the injured worker earned on a weekly basis for the year or 12 months prior to the injury. The law provides for a few different methods of averaging the prior earnings. The insurance company will try to calculate the AWW as low as possible, and injured workers’ attorney will calculate the AWW as high he/she can. The higher the AWW is the better for injured workers since the weekly monetary payment rate will increase. Note, since the calculation of the claimant’s AWW is the crucial starting point in determining the amount of money the claimant will get, it is important to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. visit, www.steenberglaw.com
Unless your disability is permanent, then you should see your doctor at least every 45 days, preferably once a month. However, if you are not under active treatment, your doctor may not want to see you that often. If you do not go to see your doctor regularly, benefits may be stopped for lack of medical evidence of disability.
If you have not had a hearing yet, there likely is no direction issued by a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge to continue payments at a certain weekly rate, which means the carrier may cut benefits whenever its own doctor’s opinion on the “degree of your disability” justifies a lower rate. If the claimant does not have an attorney, the insurance companies will take advantage by lowering the payment rate arbitrarily. This is a good example of why it pays off to retain a good workers’ compensation attorney.
If Workers’ Comp Judge has directed payments to continue at a certain rate, the insurance company must request a hearing and argue in front of a Judge to lower your payment rate. A few exceptions include if you have returned to work and are now earning equal to or more than what your average weekly wage (AWW) is set at; or your own doctor has issued an opinion that you have no further disability.
Yes, but returning to work affects the amount that you are entitled to receive and it is important to tell your attorney that you have returned to work. In some circumstances, believe it or not, returning to work can result in an increase in your compensation benefits. When you return to work and receive your wages and still receive workers’ compensation payments, those benefits are called “Reduced Earning Benefits” (RE).
Yes, unfortunately, you must and should attend the IME appointment. The insurance company has the right to have you examined periodically by a doctor of its choosing at a time and a place that is convenient to you. If you fail to attend an insurance company doctor’s examination, payments may be suspended. Usually, if you miss the first IME appointment, you can simply reschedule without much of an issue. However, if you miss the second appointment, the insurance company almost always temporarily suspends your weekly payments until you attend another IME appointment and/or attend a workers’ comp hearing and request for the Judge to resume weekly payments. If you have further questions, please give us a call (716) 558-2000.
You should keep records of each time that you visit a doctor or other medical provider such as a physical therapist, chiropractor, IME doctor..etc. Note: no mileage reimbursement is paid for traveling to the Workers’ Comp Board for hearings or to a pharmacy to pick up prescriptions). You should periodically submit directly to the insurance company a list showing the date of the appointment, who you went to see, and the round-trip mileage. You should also submit copies of receipts for drugs or other medical supplies that you have paid for directly.
However, if you are a Steenberg Law firm client, all you have to do is write down the above information on a “C-257 form” and give the form to your attorney. Your attorney will submit the completed C-257 form to the insurance company for you. If you need another C-257 form, please give us a call.
Never submit your only copy to an insurance company. Always keep a copy of anything that you submit to an insurance company for payment. The Workers’ Compensation Board does provide a form to be used for filing a request for reimbursement. Visit the Worker’ Compensation forms page and scroll down to find the C-257 form.
If your workers’ comp case results in a “scheduled loss of use” (SLU) award, payments generally end when you receive the SLU award. The SLU award applies mostly to injuries to extremities, such as: arms. legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes and also hearing and vision loss. This SLU award is normally paid in a “one lump sum” check.
However, if you are classified as having a permanent partial disability (PPD), payments can continue indefinitely if you were injured at work before 3/13/2007, as long as you are not working, or are working but making less money than before your injury. For injuries after 3/13/2007 — the length of time you receive benefits after you reach permanency will likely be capped. Once the Judge makes a finding on permanency, the remaining years left to receive your weekly monetary payments can range from 4.8 years to 10.1 years. The Judge will determine what your “Loss of Wage Earning Capacity” (LWEC) is which equates to a certain amount of weeks/years you can receive weekly payments until your monetary benefits are capped or come to an end. As you can see, the issue of permanency is crucial, if you have questions call our attorneys at (716) 558-2000. To learn more about how your “LWEC” is determined, visit our workers’ compensation page.
An individual may be entitled to an award for any permanent loss of use of an extremity, such as an arm, a leg, fingers, toes, even if they do not lose any time from work. An individual may also be entitled to an award if they have a permanent loss of vision, permanent loss of hearing, or any permanent facial disfigurement.
A Schedule Loss of Use award, known as an “SLU,” is an additional cash payment. The purpose of this SLU award is to compensate you for any ‘loss of use or ability’ in a body part as a result of your work injury. If you do not get back the same level of use in an injured body part, you may be entitled to an SLU award. An SLU award may be offered if you injured one of the following body parts: Arm, Leg, Hand, Fingers, Foot, Toe, Eye (Loss Vision), Ear (Hearing Loss) & Facial Scars (Facial/Neck/Scalp scars). Call Steenberg Law Firm for more info.
In workers’ compensation cases, the injured worker does not pay the attorney directly. Since the attorney works for the injured worker, any attorney’s fee comes from the award to the injured worker, but is paid by the insurance company. All fees must approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
A claimant can attempt to settle their workers’ comp case with the insurance company. There are different types of settlements. Generally, an individual will settle the claim for a lump sum of money in exchange for giving up only their rights to weekly benefits and related medical treatment coverage. In another type of settlement, an individual can retain their medical benefit and settle the indemnity portion of their claim.
If an individual sustains an accident at work, the individual must report the incident, in writing, to their employer within 30 days, and a claim must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board within 2 years of the date of accident.
With regard to occupational injuries, a claim must be filed 2 years from the date the injury was known to be related, or should have been known to be related to the work activities.
No. Unless you employer has declared in writing that they will accommodate an injured employee’s work limitations. This may be done in an individual employee contract or employee handbook.
Exceptions to this rule are employers who obligate themselves to either hold an injured worker’s position open, or accommodate an injured worker’s limitations through an employee benefit program (usually outlined in an employee handbook) or through collective bargaining (union) or individual employment.
Most likely, yes. Unless you fall into a few exceptions, you are subject to New York State’s “employment at will” doctrine which allows an employer to terminate an employee with or without cause. However, you may have protections if you belong to a union that has fought for certain rights through collective bargaining. Also, if you have an individual employment contract with your employer, then you may have additional rights therein.
There are also benefits for an individual’s family, or dependents, when the workplace causes the death of a worker. The Estate is entitled to death benefits whether there are dependents, such as a spouse or children, or if there were no dependents at all. The insurance company is also responsible for any burial costs up to certain limits, depending upon the county the decedent lived in.
Social Security disability cases can take a long time to complete. Generally, you must be out of work, because of your disability, for (12) twelve consecutive months. However, it is best to apply after being out of work for (9) consecutive months.
An individual can be disabled for any type of reason. It could be due to a disabling accident, a mental disability, a genetic condition, disease, or any other type of disabling condition. An impairment can be from brain damage, dementia, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, impairments to the hands, etc.
A lawyer at Steenberg Law Firm will only be paid if your claim is approved. Typically, fees are 25% of the retroactive benefits to a maximum of the statutory limit, which is currently $6,000.00. If an attorney wins your claim and there are no retroactive benefits, the fee request will be based upon the time spent working on the file and the expertise that was required. Thus, we suggest that you let an experienced attorney at our firm handle your Social Security Disability claim, as there is no fee unless we are successful in winning your claim.
Maybe. Generally, if someone was injured at work, that person’s exclusive remedy or course of action is to file a Workers’ Comp claim only. However, an exception arises when a “third party” (i.e. someone other than your employer or co-worker) is involved in causing your work injury. It is then possible to sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit. But note, you still cannot sue your employer, only the third party involved.
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