Our firm has successfully represented thousands of disabled claimants on both basic claims, before Workers’ Compensation Law Judges as well as appeals to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Commissioners. We combine a complete knowledge of the law with an understanding of the requirements demanded by individual judges. We are available to discuss potential claims and there is no fee for a consultation.
The State Law covers every worker in the state except the Uniform Services of the City of New York, specifically Police, Firefighters, and Sanitation Workers. Civilian employees of the Police Department, Fire Department or Sanitation Department are covered under the New York State version of the law. New York City has its own separate version.
Total disability is two thirds of your average weekly wage or $400, whichever is less. Then there are intermittent levels of partial disability characterized as “ mild”, “moderate” and “marked” disability. There is an active industry of doctors examining on behalf of insurance carriers for the purpose of describing your disability in a way that would cause a reduction in your payments and treatment and tests authorization.
This is one of the many reasons we strongly recommend you have an attorney representing your interests in proceedings before the Workers’ Compensation Board.
This requirement is often, “excused,” where the lack of notice “did not prejudice the employer’s ability to investigate the claim.”
The “value” of each of these extremities is different, and is paid in “weeks of compensation.” This means for example, that if your fifth finger is amputated, having a “schedule” value of 15 weeks of compensation for 100% loss of that finger, you would receive 15 weeks of compensation at your “rate of compensation,” or compensation for the actual time lost while disabled, whichever is greater.
Likewise, the “Claims Examiner” is not your friend; he is a person hired by the insurance company to pay as little as possible within the limits of the law.
Likewise, any forms sent to you by the insurance carrier, should be filled out and sent to your attorney, so that your attorney can determine if there is a need for the carrier to have this information. This includes medical releases, job histories, family medical histories, and all forms they send you. Fill them out, if a signature is called for, sign it, and then send it to your attorney to determine if the insurance carrier should have the documents.
Chiropractic is covered; Podiatry is covered; the services of a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialists (Physiatrist), etc. Any type of Specialist who accepts Workers’ Compensation patients is covered under the law. This includes Cardiologists, Pulmonary Specialists, and virtually every specialty in medicine is acceptable.
The “ins and outs,” of the Workers’ Compensation Law are, in our opinion, best handled by attorneys or Licensed Representatives who have been trained to deal with the intricacies of the law. Virtually every decision of an Administrative Law Judge at a Workers’ Compensation hearing, is appealable by the party unhappy with that decision.
The insurance defense industry makes a great deal of money fighting claims. This is what they do for a living. On the other hand, claimants counsel, such as our firm, make our living defeating the insurance carriers’ attorneys wherever possible and we only make money if we are successful in prosecuting your claim.
There is much more for you to know; about hearings; about what to do if the insurance company fights your case, denying that you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. You need to know your rights for reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical and transportation expenses. You need to know that you should never pay a health provider or hospital for treatment in connection with an on-the-job injury or illness.
You need to know what to do if your head, neck, or back are injured. What if you have a heart attack or a hernia, or a stroke, or broken ribs, or other trunk of the body ailments caused by your work?
You need to know the nature and quality of medical reports submitted in your case by your health care providers. You need to know the dangers of putting your job and “voluntarily withdrawing from the labor market;” something that could disqualify you for future benefits.
You need to know not to just, “retire,” from your job because of your injuries, but to do it in a certain way and manner, with the advice of your doctor and your attorney, so that your retiring does not, “withdraw you from the labor market.”
There is so very much more that comes up in almost every Workers’ Compensation case. What do you do when the insurance carrier assigns an investigator to follow you around; what do you do if the insurance carrier sends you to one of their defensive medical doctors?
These and many more issues represent the intricacies of the Workers’ Compensation Law and the prosecution of a claim.
It is for this reason we feel you should have an attorney with you on every claim, whether it is our firm or another.