Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Injured at Work

The Workers’ Compensation Law applies when you are injured at work. It is a New York State law. You have two years from the date you are injured at work to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board, although most people file immediately after being injured.

The law in New York is that you cannot sue your employer or co-employee that caused your injury. However, you can sue others who may be responsible for causing your injury. For example, if you are a delivery person who was making a delivery and you fell over a broken step, a box, a broken driveway, etc., you can sue the homeowner or the business to whom you were making the delivery.

Workers Compensation for those Injured on Construction Sites

If you are hired for a job that is particularly susceptible to being injured, such as at a construction site, if you fell off a ladder, under a specific section of the New York State Labor, §240, if the ladder was defective or was not properly secured, you can sue not only the owner of the building but also the owner of the land. The law protects construction Workers’ who are employed in dangerous work.

If, as a construction worker, you are given a tool such as a drill, saw, grinder, or other piece of equipment, which is defective, the owner of the land is also responsible under §241(6) of the New York State Labor Law if you were injured while using the defective equipment.

Workers’ Comp Eligibility

Under the Workers’ Compensation Law it does not matter if you are a citizen of the United States or an illegal immigrant. You still have rights to Workers’ compensation benefits and to sue for compensation for your injuries.

Under the Workers’ Compensation Law it does not matter if your employer does not have Workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not have it, you have the choice of suing your employer, or bringing a Workers’ compensation claim and you are then paid from a pool and the Workers’ compensation organization seeks to recover the money from the employer who did not have Workers’ compensation insurance.

If you work in what is know as “off the books” you can still receive Workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation deals with persons getting hurt on the job. It doesn’t matter whether they are working on the books or off the books; you just have to prove that you were working when you were injured.

In addition, Workers’ compensation has what is called a “schedule loss of use award,” §15 of the Workers’ Compensation Law.

Common Work-Related Injuries

You may deserve an award if one or more of these body parts doesn’t fully heal to where it was before the injury.

  • Arm
  • Leg
  • Hand
  • Foot
  • Face (Scar)/Neck/Scalp
  • Toe
  • Eye (Vision Loss)
  • Ear (Hearing Loss)
  • Finger

Body parts may also include the wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip. Permanent injury to a body part may include: fractures, amputations, surgeries, tears, dislocations, second and third degree burns, crush injuries and severe nerve damage.

The law states how many benefit weeks you’ll receive. It’s based on the body part and how much it was damaged. You’ll get a certain number of weeks of payment to make up for the permanent injury. For example:

  1. The law allows 312 weeks for an arm injury.
  2. You lost 25% weeks of the use of your arm.
  3. 25% of 312 weeks = 78 weeks.
  4. You earn $900 weekly. Two-thirds your average weekly wage (your Workers’’ compensation rate) is $600.
  5. $600 a week for 78 weeks = $46,800 to you.

In order to obtain a schedule loss of use award, a doctor’s opinion is needed. Ask your doctor when you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. If your injury is permanent, your doctor will state how much less you can use that body part. It will be put as a percentage: 25%, 50%, and so on. The doctor will file that opinion with the Board.

With respect to the schedule loss of use award, the Board can direct the insurance carrier of your employer to pay one lump sum instead of spreading it out over a period of time.

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The fact that the accident may be your fault does not prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to those benefits even if the injury was your fault, so long as you were not drunk or on drugs at the time the injury occurred.

If you are hurt on the job, in addition to your right to workers’ compensation benefits, if you believe your injury is the fault of a third-party, you also have a right to sue that party for pain and suffering, as well as for your lost wages and loss of future earnings capacity.

If you or a loved one were injured and are in need of legal assistance as a result of an injury suffered while at work, then call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212-227-2780, or toll-free in New York 1-800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation. Or you can email us at ajaros@lawjaros.com.