When Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Workers’ Comp?

worker compensation lawyerIn New York and elsewhere, the laws surrounding workers’ compensation are usually straight-forward. If you suffer an injury in and of the course of employment or are stricken ill while on the job, you have the legal right to file a claim for benefits. However, there are times when things may not go the way you thought they would, and you need to work with NY workers compensation lawyers. It is important to know when you should turn to NY workers compensation attorneys. Being represented by counsel is always advisable.

If your employer’s insurer refuses to accept your claim, the first thing you would want to do is contact an attorney to explore your legal options. There are various reasons for a carrier to not accept a claim. If the carrier controverts (does not accept a claim), there are specific forms that are required to be filed. In addition to these initial forms there are certain medical documentation that is needed to proceed with your claim. Consulting with NYC area workers compensation lawyer will greatly assist you in attempting to get your claim established and traversing the confusing legal system. A legal team can boost your chances, if development of the record is needed an attorney can handle depositions of medical experts and lay witnesses, as well as assisting with your potential testimony. These are situations that warrant help from NYC area workers compensation attorneys.

Your Claim was Denied

There are various reasons why the insurance company might deny your claim. One of the most common is that the insurer believes your injury or illness occurred not while you were on the job. Another common reason is they believe you filed too late. When this happens, you can file for a hearing to have an administrative Judge review the merits of your case.

Partial Disability Rating Disputed

Workers’ compensation benefit awards are given for temporary total or partial disabilities. Temporary partial disabilities can be denoted as a percentage from 0-100% depending on whether you can perform any time of work. Depending on the rating your treating doctor finds greatly affects the amount of benefits you can be entitled to. Sometimes, the insurer may disagree with the rating you are given by the doctor you have seen and request that you have an independent medical exam with a doctor it selects. In this case, the new doctor will give you a lower disability rating, which results in the insurer stating it will pay you less in benefits. If you’re dissatisfied with the new amount, workers compensation lawyers in NYC area can help you.

You Have a Preexisting Condition

It is not unusual for insurance companies to deny your workers’ comp claim if you have a preexisting medical condition that affects the same body part injured while you are on the job. The insurer will claim that you already had the injury and refuse your claim, especially if your injury developed slowly over a period. Having an experienced attorney will be able to assist you in complex litigation regarding intricate medical issues.

Inability to Get Treatment

If you are having difficulty getting the treatment you need approved, the insurer may deny the request from a treating physician. The carrier may deny such request for several reasons. Workers compensation attorneys in NYC area can ensure that you get the necessary treatment in a timely manner.

Your Ability to Work is Affected

If your injury or illness has rendered you permanently unable to work ever again, you will need the maximum benefits available. Insurance companies do not like paying the maximum, which means getting an attorney can help you get it.

Getting Other Government Benefits

A lawyer is also necessary if you are already receiving other government benefits such as Social Security Disability or SSDI. If you are receiving other benefits, your workers’ comp benefits may be affected. An attorney can help by ensuring that you get an amount that is accurate for you in relation to both your SSDI benefits and your workers’ comp benefits.

You are Having a Hearing

At various times throughout your claim, there may be hearing in front of an administrative law judge. While you may represent yourself at these hearings, it is always advisable that you be represented by counsel. These hearings may involve complex legal issues that the insurance carrier will attempt achieve the best possible result for their client. Being unrepresented may significantly impact your legal rights going forward.

If you are in the New York City, New York area and need legal help in your workers’ comp case, contact Rella & Associates at your earliest convenience.

emergency room visitsWork injuries can cause more than just minor physical injuries. Some workplace injuries will remain far longer than most, and other accident victims will be disabled resulting from workplace injuries. NY workers’ compensation lawyers admit that some rules related to a work-related injury case can be complex and confusing for those who do not have a legal degree or firm understanding of the law.

Many employees who become injured during a workplace accidental event wonder who will pay for their emergency room visits and other bills.

What Happens if My Employer’s Medical Benefits Plan Doesn’t Include My ER Doctor?

This is a common point of confusion when dealing with the immediate aftermath of a serious workplace injury that required an emergency room visit. Many employer benefit plans have a list of panel doctors that are approved for payment if the employee seeks treatment there.

However, in emergency situations, there may not be time to wait for the slower process of getting in to see these doctors. Some benefit plans have stipulations with who the employee can be treated by for the first 90 days. After the initial 90-day time period is up, workers’ compensation may allow for payment of non-included doctors or other treatment providers.

There Are Generally Provisions for Emergency Related Treatment

A group of well-respected NY workers compensation attorneys advises injured workers to get treatment at a nearby emergency room if the injuries require immediate treatment.

Most of the healthcare and workers’ compensation plans will allow leeway when the incident involves serious injuries needing immediate care by emergency doctors. After the patient is stabilized, they can be transferred to an approved physician coded with the workers’ compensation board.

Who Is Responsible for Paying Medical Bills & Other Expenses Following a Job Site Injury?

Most states have active workers compensation plans that are there to provide injured workers with compensation for medical bills, drug costs, rehabilitation therapy, and other accident-related benefits. Usually, this is a no-fault type of system. Employees hurt on the job must file the proper workplace documentation forms on time to be eligible to collect these benefits.

If the injuries cause a long delay in getting back to work, the injured employee can usually collect indemnity (wage-replacement) benefits for the period they remain out of work due to their injury. Always discuss these pertinent circumstances with NYC area workers compensation lawyers to determine if this is applicable to your specific case.

Why Injured Workers Should Work with Their Employer’s HR Department

Most injured employees will find the workers compensation benefit process an easy thing to manage if they work with their employer during this time. Usually, an employer’s HR department will have specialists who can make this process go smoothly for the injured workers and/or their family members.

Dedicated NYC area workers compensation attorneys state that these insurance and other specialists are able to keep track of paperwork, doctors expenses and other important items while the employee is recovering from the incident.

Local groups of outstanding workers compensation lawyers in NYC area point out that most of these HR workers compensation plan specialists can be a valuable asset that can help streamline this often cumbersome process.

Where to Find Topnotch Workers Compensation Attorneys in NYC Area

There are other legal options that injured workers should consider. Contact Rella & Associates via https://rella-associates.com.

medical injuriesCOVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the American republic. Medical professionals across the country have made heroic efforts to treat those who have contracted the virus and taken ill. Delivering critical care day-after-day has taken its toll on residents and other physicians who have been fighting on the front lines for the past nine months. This has led to an increase in severe mental stress and the harmful effects that result from it.

Key findings from recent research indicate that a majority of medical professionals are afraid of being exposed to Coronavirus and have experienced anxiety or depression owing to it. Because of the novelty of the virus and the situation created by it, more studies will have to be conducted in this area. But one thing is for certain: dealing with COVID-19 has led to the mental injury of numerous physicians.

Stress Impacts Safety

Few people think of medicine as an inherently hazardous profession. In normal times, patients and caseloads are managed with calm and deliberation. The public health crisis sparked by the pandemic has overwhelmed even the most well-equipped and well-resourced hospitals. It has made it more important than ever for senior physicians and hospital administrators to address the effect of stress on workplace safety.

Stress can cause distraction. A stressed worker—even a highly educated and skilled physician—is more likely to think about the source of their stress than the task at hand. This can lead to poor attention to detail, which can, in turn, lead to accidents and injury. And it is important to understand that the latter is not limited to medical malpractice on patients. There are a great many machines, needles, cutting tools, chemical agents, and other items in a hospital that can hurt the person who does not use them properly.

How the Virus Has Changed Hospitals

The Coronavirus has forced many hospitals to operate like any other worksite. They have had to look at the design of tasks and the impact of infrequent breaks and long hours for medical staff. The sheer number of cases that hospitals must deal with have made contingency plans for sporadic major disasters irrelevant. Senior physicians and hospital administrators have had to apply management approaches and organizational structures that are closer to manufacturing plants and other production facilities. Hospitals have had to pay more attention to warning signs of stress on the job, including:

• Fatigue
• Low morale
• Anxiety
• Changes in appetite
• Headaches
• Difficulty with focus and concentration

Prolonged stress can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, an impaired immune system, and psychological disorders. It can also lead to a rise in absenteeism and problems with employee retention—the last things that are needed in hospitals as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic.

Your Duty and Your Life

You became a physician to help people. You wanted to put your talents to use in the service of others. But you are still human, and you have limitations. In the end, you must balance your obligations as a physician with those of your life as a spouse, parent, sibling, and friend.

If you have suffered the effects of stress since the COVID-19 crisis, then you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney in the New York area. You may be entitled to the benefits of workers’ compensation. If you are refused such benefits, then workers compensation attorneys in the Greater New York area will help you get them.

High stress and its effects are among the many New York area medical injuries suffered by medical residents and physicians. Medical injury attorneys in NY are seeing more and more of these cases as the pandemic deepens. NY workers compensation attorneys know how to handle cases like yours. You should speak to the NY workers compensation lawyers at Rella & Associates if you need advice on how to proceed.

winter work constructionWhile New York is known for many great things, it is also known for its cold and harsh winters. With snow, ice, and extremely cold temperatures, a New York winter can be unlike any across the United States. Yet despite the harsh conditions, construction projects carry on, with workers on the job day and night. Unfortunately, many of these workers may be seriously injured in accidents caused largely by the winter weather. If you are a construction worker who has been injured while on the job, discuss your accident with a construction accident attorney in the New York area at the law firm of Rella & Associates.

What Makes Winter Construction so Dangerous?

When working on a construction site during the winter, you must be aware of many potential dangers. Since snow and ice can accumulate on the ground as well as high above it, you must be aware of scaffolds, ladders, beams, and other areas that may be very slippery. Along with this, the cold temperatures and wind can combine to create perfect conditions for frostbite and hypothermia. Finally, various tools can freeze up and become difficult and dangerous to use, which could lead to a serious accident. If you have been injured while working on a cold construction site, meet with winter work injury attorneys in NY to see if you have grounds for workers’ compensation claim.

Your Responsibility in Staying Safe

While you are at work on your construction job, you as an employee are expected to take some responsibility for staying as safe as possible while doing your job. During the winter months, this includes wearing such things as insulated gloves and boots to keep your hands and feet warm and dry. Also, should you notice snow or ice built up on scaffolding or in other areas, you have a responsibility to let a supervisor know of the dangerous conditions. Finally, should you start to feel ill, you should stop working and make your supervisor aware of your condition. In many instances, workers who overexert themselves are at greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Employer Responsibility

Just as you have a certain level of responsibility to stay safe on the job, your employer also has a duty to make their construction site as safe as possible during the winter months. This can include providing workers with protective gear needed for their jobs, inspecting the site regularly for ice and snow that may be creating dangerous conditions, and other duties. If you believe your employer was irresponsible and that their negligence led to you being injured, seek guidance from workers compensation attorneys in the Greater New York area.

Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured while doing your construction job, you should speak to NY workers compensation attorney about the process of filing a claim for these benefits. Since workers’ compensation can be awarded to you no matter who was at fault, so long as you were not under the influence at the time of your accident, make sure you are aware of how to get the benefits you deserve.

workers compensationDoes Workers’ Compensation Count as Earned Income?
In general, Workers’ Compensation benefits are not taxed as federal, state or local income. Although this is generally the case, you will need to consult with a Workers Comp lawyer in New York to find out if anything has changed in your area. The money that you are paid from Workers’ Compensation will be exempt from taxes if your benefits are paid under a Workers’ Compensation act.

The answer to the question may be different if you are also receiving Social Security Income. Then, your Workers’ Compensation benefits may be taxed, and your SSI payments will be reduced by the amount that your Workers’ Compensation benefits are taxed. For example, the Social Security Administration may reduce your SSI benefits by $300 because you are also receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. Then, the federal government will tax the $300.

By hiring a Workers Comp attorney in New York, NY, you may be able to lower the amount of money that may be taxed.

Is Workers’ Compensation Considered Income for SSI?

Workers’ Compensation is considered to be income when you are receiving SSI benefits. In the event that the amount that you receive from Workers’ Compensation is more than the maximum amount that you would receive from SSI for one month, your income would be too high for you to qualify for SSI, and the Social Security Administration would deny your application. You could also have received a lump sum payment for your SSI disability benefits. If this is the case, you would have too many resources to qualify for SSI.

Is Workers’ Compensation Considered Income for Medicaid?

Workers’ Compensation is considered to be income for Medicaid as well. The amount that you receive in ongoing benefits and any lump sum payments will be considered by Medicaid when determining whether or not you qualify for the program.

Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Program.

Employers are required to offer Workers’ Compensation benefits to their employees if they contract an illness or are injured because of their jobs. Your employer pays the insurance carrier for this insurance. If you need to take benefits, the insurance carrier will pay your medical bills. In most cases, it doesn’t matter who was at fault in your accident.
The insurance carrier will sometimes pay your claim if the case is accepted for your injuries or your illness. Sometimes, you cannot come to an agreement with the insurance carrier. In that case, you must allow the Workers’ Compensation law judge to make the decision. If you and the insurance carrier have a disagreement, you may hire a Workers Compensation lawyer in New York NY to help you with this process.

If You Need Help…

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult to understand, but a New York Workers Comp lawyer will help you with any questions that you have. Our Workers Compensation attorney in New York NY has extensive experience working with Workers’ Compensation, and he or she will help you remain within the confines of the law. You will not have to converse with anyone at the insurance company because our Workers Compensation attorney New York NY will do all this work for you.

Contact us at Rella & Associates today if you have been injured or contracted an illness at work.

truck accidentThe truck and transportation industry is an essential industry in New York and the larger United States. Trucking has always been at the forefront of transportation of goods within the state and across borders. There are an estimated 3.6 million sales workers and truck drivers in New York. While this looks like a significant number, the trucking industry constitutes 2.3% of the entire New York workforce in contrast. Truck transportation work injuries are leading, whereby they constitute 18.4 % of the total fatalities that arise from the whole workforce. 18.4% fatalities for industry, with only 2.3% of the entire workforce are worrying. If you are a victim of truck work injuries seeking legal help to assist with the compensation process is crucial. Our workers comp lawyer in New York from the law office of Rella & Associates, are duly experienced in workers’ compensation claims, and they can offer you all the assistance required to file a competent case.

Contributing factors to the high truck work injuries and fatality rates

Truck work injuries can range from minor soft tissue injuries to fatal injuries. As mentioned previously, the trucking industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is top on the list regarding fatal injuries. The Bureau released a report in 2018 wherein the findings showed that in every 100,000 full-time truck workers, there were a total of 28 deaths. The question then often arises is; what are the contributing factors leading to such deaths and any other transportation work injuries?

Old drivers and lack of mandatory retirement age

Companies in New York and across the United States often consider retirees for truck driver positions. The motivation behind hiring retirees is the constant truck driver shortage, resulting in increased dangers on the road. However, your age as a truck driver does not matter when it comes to eligibility for compensation. Our workers comp attorney in New York can assist you in launching a successful workers’ compensation claim. Through the counsel of our New York workers comp lawyer, you will gain all the tips of demonstrating that the injuries sustained arose in and of the course of employment.

Long working hours

Among the most overworked drivers are those in the trucking industry. Along with the age factor mentioned earlier, such drivers often suffer fatigue, and some might even doze off while driving. Exhaustion is a great contributor to truck transportation work injuries that lead to severe or fatal injuries. Such an accident can end your career or push you out of work for some time. Our workers compensation lawyer in New York can help you explore all avenues of securing compensation and maximizing your benefits.

Dangerous roads

A significant cause for truck transportation work injuries is dangerous roads. Various factors contribute to dangerous roads: Loose chipping on the roads, lack of sufficient lighting to facilitate night travel, poorly designed roads, and absence of signage For example, loose chippings on the road can interfere with the truck wheels’ contact with the road leading to rollover accidents. Such accidents are often fatal, and where the driver survives, they get to nurse serious injuries. Through consultation with a competent workers compensation attorney New York, you can launch a successful claim compensation. The benefits can help you pay for your medical bills and indemnity benefits.

Disobedience to traffic laws

Every road user has the mandate to uphold traffic laws, but most users are prone to disobeying such laws. Even the most careful of truck drivers often encounter rogue road users who ignore traffic rules and regulations. If an accident arises from such an encounter leading to a truck transportation work injury, please contact our workers compensation attorney in New York for an analysis of your case.

covid-19 wearing maskAs a result of the coronavirus pandemic, New York has begun to institute changes in workers’ compensation benefits. This past Memorial Day, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, made an announcement that revealed that families of public employees who work the frontline and die of Covid-19 would be allowed to receive benefits that are normally available for workers who die as a result of on-the-job injuries.

Governor Cuomo explained the reason for this change to the state’s workers’ compensation laws: Because of the extremely hard work of those who work the front lines perform to deliver essential services to everyone, it’s important to do more than simply say “thank you.” The governor stressed the need to protect the families of these valuable and valued employees. The surviving family members of those working for the New York State and New York City alike who pass away from Covid-19 would be able to recover death benefits as a result of their tragic loss. Around 300 employees of the New York City area have already died from the virus.

Coronavirus and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

On May 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed bill S.8427/A.10528 into law. This brand new law would ensure that the families of employees of New York counties, the City and state who worked on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic had the legal right to receive death benefits through workers’ compensation rather than just those paid through local and state pension funds. This new law adds to New York’s retirement and Social Security law with the brand new section 509-a, Covid-19 benefit.

The frontline workers included under the new law include the following types of employees:

• Emergency responders
• Police officers
• Firefighters
• Public healthcare providers
• Transit workers

Any and all of the employees who performed their hard work on or after March 1 of this year and who contracted the virus within 45 days are covered under the new law. The family members of those workers who fell ill and subsequently died from Covid-19 are legally entitled to receive half of the pension of their loved one for life. Surviving family members of firefighters or police officers are entitled to the full pensions of their loved ones. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the survivors of frontline workers were only entitled to those benefits for around three years.

Benefits May Extend to Workers with Covid-19

The changes in workers’ compensation laws in New York by Governor Cuomo may only be the beginning in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. There are several additional pending bills on the state and federal levels that lawmakers are considering as well. If these bills pass into law, benefits may extend to workers with Covid-19. They include the following:

• AB 10401(S08266) would allow exposure to Covid-19 to be considered an occupational disease and give workers in New York who contract the virus, or their survivors, to receive workers’ compensation benefits due to disability or death.
• AB 10172(SB8041-A) would be added to existing laws to provide testing, medical exams, and treatment to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers exposed to the coronavirus due to their work during emergencies. They would also be eligible for partial or total disability benefits or their families would be entitled to death benefits.
• AB 10391(SB8117-A) would allow for the presumption that New York law enforcement officers, probation officers, parole officers and other emergency responders who contract Covid-19 did so while performing their regular work duties.
• HR 6656 is a federal bill that, if passed, would allow TSA employees diagnosed with the virus over a certain period of time to be eligible for federal workers’ compensation benefits.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers have put their health and lives on the line to perform services for the community. New York was the United States’ epicenter for the pandemic early on. It was only a matter of when, not if, New York employees would contract the virus while diligently serving the community.
As a result of those serious risks, the above bills are essential in ensuring that workers who become infected and their families have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits without any hassle.

If you live in New York and have tragically lost your loved one to Covid-19, you need Rella & Associates on your side. A workers compensation lawyer in New York will listen to your story. A New York workers’ compensation lawyer will fight to protect your rights to get you the benefits you deserve. If you need to discuss your loved one’s situation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York, contact NY workers compensation attorneys Rella & Associates at your earliest convenience.

construction site accidentConstruction site jobs pose a great risk with it being one of the most dangerous jobs. The greatest danger comes from falls, which can lead to broken bones or fractures. If you or someone you love was injured, you may wonder about the value of a settlement. Injuries where you need long-term care will have a better payout because it requires ongoing care.

Who’s Liable in a Construction Accident?

Filing a lawsuit depends on the circumstances. If the workers or supervisors didn’t follow protocol and it led to injuries, you may have a right to file a lawsuit. Rella & Associates can highlight the specifics after examining your case. Usually, you receive compensation for the following, which determines the value of your case:

• Medical expenses
• Lost wages

When a New York workers’ compensation lawyer looks at a case, they will determine whether this classifies as a workers’ compensation case or whether you could file a third-party lawsuit.

What to Do After a Construction Site Injury

Every workers’ compensation lawyer New York firm will advise that you seek immediate medical attention. You do this because it documents the case. It provides you with a written record of what happened immediately after and will make your fight for workers’ compensation much easier. If you even suspect a slight injury, you should have a doctor look at it right away because this can get more serious with time. People who don’t seek immediate medical care could have the other party argue that your injuries weren’t related to the construction accident.

Types of Claims Available

The type of claim that you could file depends on the circumstances. Workers’ compensation is the most common, and it comes into play when injured in the course of employment. Because of workers’ compensation laws, you usually can’t sue your employer unless they were negligent. You can file a third-party lawsuit when someone’s negligence causes an injury, however.

The Value of a Construction Site Injury Case

To determine the value of a case, you first have to look at the type of injury. Does it categorize as a workers’ compensation case or a personal claim? To estimate the value, NY workers compensation attorneys will look at the permanent damage done. You have a broad range of circumstances that can influence the value of a case.

Speak with a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer in New York. Rest assured that the other party will have a team of experienced lawyers, and you need to prepare for the worst. A case might have a high potential value, but if poorly represented, you might receive 30 percent of it. Don’t let this happen. Rella & Associates has a qualified team that understands how to represent you adequately in cases where you were injured on a construction site.

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