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Do I Need a Lawyer For a Workers’ Comp Claim?
It was a normal day at work for Jose, a union construction worker and truck driver. He was loading the back of his truck with construction materials, as he had many times before. This time, though, he was bumped by the materials being loaded, and he lost his balance and fell. He sustained major neck, back, and shoulder injuries resulting in surgery.
It could have been quite different for Jose. His employer could have provided him with the necessary safety equipment required by New York law, and then he would not have had to worry over where his next paycheck would come from. Jose needed help – the help of a professional workers’ compensation attorney familiar with construction accidents.
At Hill & Moin, we have helped thousands of injured workers get the benefits they deserve by means of the workers’ compensation system. This complicated process, often traversed by workers unaided by their employers, can leave an injured employee feeling helpless. Your load can be greatly reduced by working with experienced attorneys who know what they are doing.
What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
New York was one of the first states to adopt a workers’ compensation program. Essentially, it was a win-win for both employers and employees. Hurt workers would automatically get medical care and wage benefits. In exchange, they would not be able to file suit against their employer.
The beauty of this kind of system is that it operates on a “no-fault” basis. That means that it doesn’t matter whether you accidentally caused your injury by being careless or your employer was negligent in some way – you receive the same amount of benefits no matter what.
Employers often buy work comp insurance, and nearly all are required to carry it. That way, when you file a claim for workers’ comp benefits, the employer’s premiums underwrite the expenses of the insurance company. That’s where things can get tricky, though.
Insurers and employers alike try to avoid paying out benefits whenever possible. So just filing a claim does not mean that you will automatically get the full amount of benefits you deserve. A study of New York businesses estimated that dishonest employers are saving $1 billion a year in payments to injured workers who are getting less than they deserve. You don’t have to be one of those workers!
What Should I Do When I’m Injured on the Job?
This process can be long and complex. By following the following guidelines, you can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve:
- Go to the hospital and seek medical treatment for your injuries (it may be necessary to go to the place your employer has designated for work-related injuries)
- Inform your supervisor officially about the accident
- Speak to a lawyer about your claim
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board
- Ask for your medical reports from the physician handling your case
It’s key, however, that you speak to a lawyer before you file your claim, as an experienced attorney is able to make sure to “dot the i’s and cross the t’s,” so to speak, before you submit the paperwork. Avoiding minor errors and novice mistakes gives you a higher chance that your claim will be accepted the first time around.
During this overwhelming time, you deserve professionalism that will give you the confidence to pursue your legal remedies for compensation to secure your future. The workers’ comp process is daunting, but you should not have to go through it alone.
Why is the Work Comp System So Complex?
Oftentimes, a person doesn’t think about the workers’ compensation system until he or she is injured on the job. At that point, they become one of the some 140,000 new cases a year filed with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. Most of these cases take months or even years to resolve due to the backlog.
Workers’ comp hearing rooms are filled with injured people, a vast number of which being physical laborers who need their paychecks to get by. Some people give up before the point of having a hearing due to frustration because of delays, or they worry about being deported if they are undocumented.
The system is hard to navigate alone, and even when successful in receiving some benefits, some who filed without the help of a lawyer may find that the awarded amount is less than what he or she truly deserves. However, you should not give up – there is help out there. Remember, at Hill & Moin, it’s like you already have a lawyer in your family.
Hill & Moin also stands by undocumented workers. If you are an undocumented worker, you have rights by work comp law. What’s more, you do not need to fear that coming to us risks deportation.
What is the Best Way to Get the Workers’ Comp Benefits I Deserve?
Remember Jose who needed surgery due to a lack of safety equipment provided by his employer? What happened to him? The skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Hill & Moin obtained a $625,000 settlement for Jose.
Our statewide network of experienced attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve, too. With our extensive workers’ comp claims experience, aggressive representation style, and professional legal guidance, we intend to get you the best possible result on your claim. Beyond that, working with us is like having a lawyer in your family.
So do you need a lawyer for a workers’ comp claim? The choice is yours. Our legal team is standing by 24/7 to help.