Workers’ compensation is a special type of accident insurance that nearly all businesses in New York must carry. Through this insurance policy, employees can recover compensation for any injury that occurs within the capacity of their employment. While there are many benefits to filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may find that the benefits are not enough. Fortunately, you may be able to file a third-party claim to recover more fully. For help, call a New York workers’ compensation lawyer.
The attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates want to help you and your family get the compensation you deserve for your work injury. Give us a call: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
Workers’ Compensation Basics
To file a workers’ compensation claim your accident must have occurred while you were “on the clock” or working in the capacity of your job. If you were on the construction site in the middle of the workday and falling debris causes your injury, workers’ compensation should cover your damages. However, if you get into a car accident on your way to the job site before the workday begins, your employer’s insurance would not cover that accident.
Benefits of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation claims do not factor-in fault; this means that even if you were almost totally at-fault for your accident, you can recover compensation. This is possible, unless you were:
- Acting outside the scope of your employment
- Engaging in horseplay
Workers’ compensation will cover all of your medical expenses and award you partial compensation for your wages. For more information on workers’ compensation benefits, visit the New York Workers Compensation Board’s website.
When do I need an attorney for a workers’ compensation case?
Insurers often deny claims for the following reasons:
Injury is Not Work-Related
Rejection of workers’ compensation claims often occur because the insurance company does not believe the injury is work-related.
Lack of Evidence
Rejection of a workers’ compensation claim might also be due to a lack of evidence. If you cannot prove that your injury occurred at work (i.e., was not preexisting), the insurer may deny your claim.
Insurers often deny workers’ compensation claims on the basis that the injured worker is an independent contractor and not an employee. To challenge these denials, you must produce evidence to the contrary.
To appeal your denial, you will need to schedule a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). A workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and represent your best interests in front of the ALJ.
Can I sue my employer if he was negligent?
New York’s workers’ compensation rules bar you from directly suing your employer for a work accident, even if your employer’s negligence caused the accident.
Note: If your case falls under the Scaffold Law, you may be eligible to file suit against your employer. Call a New York lawyer from Buttafuoco & Associates to find out if the Scaffold Law applies to your case.
Even though you cannot usually sue your employer, you are not out of options. If a third party’s negligence led to your injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. A third party can be:
- Anyone who is not a co-worker
- An equipment rental or manufacturing company
- Another construction firm on the same job with independent insurance
- A property owner
To determine your eligibility to file a lawsuit against a third party you must provide evidence that the party was liable for your safety. For example, if a property owner failed to maintain his property and it caused your injury, you may eligible to file a claim. Or, if you suffer injury through another subcontractor, you may be eligible to file a claim against that contractor.
Getting Legal Help For Your Construction Accident Claim
Before you settle a workers’ compensation claim, make sure you have talked to a New York attorney with experience working on construction accident cases. Agreeing to a settlement could bar you from other compensation to which you might be entitled.
A New York construction accident attorney will have your best interests in mind. He can explain your legal options and advise you on the best course of action to recover your eligible damages. A severe work accident can lead to decreased future earning potential and long-term disability. Claiming these special damages can be difficult without legal help to ensure you are getting the maximum recovery.
Call Buttafuoco & Associates at 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free case review. We help injured New York workers get the compensation they deserve to help protect their futures.