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Proving a Workers’ Compensation Claim—Do You Need a Witness?

New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

When you have been injured at work or during the course of your employment in New York, you have a right to seek benefits to compensate you for lost wages or income, as well as unreimbursed medical expenses. It’s seldom a simple process, though—your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company will look for ways to delay, diminish or deny your claim. One of the common strategies is to allege that, since no one saw the accident, you can’t prove that it happened at work, so your claim is invalid. Don’t fall for that argument.

In any legal matter, there are different ways to establish proof of a material fact. You can use what is known as direct evidence—usually more compelling—but you can also prove a fact through circumstantial evidence. In general, direct evidence supports proof without the need for any additional information. It may come from eyewitness testimony or any other method that “directly” supports a conclusion of fact. Circumstantial evidence, on the other hand, typically involves a set of facts, none of which individually lead to a specific factual conclusion, but which, taken together, reasonably infer a finding of fact. For example, if you are injured when a ladder falls, but no one else was present, a jury can conclude that the ladder caused the accident if:

  • You were found unconscious at the bottom of the ladder
  • The ladder was on the ground and had evidence of a defect
  • The injuries you suffered were consistent with a fall from a height

At Pyrros & Serres, we were able to recover compensation for surviving family members for a worker who died of a heart attack on the job, even though no one witnessed the death. We were able to show that a number of indirect factors led to the likely conclusion that his heart-attack was work-related.

Proving Your Workers’ Compensation Claim—Do You Need a Witness?

Experienced NYC | Queens | Bronx | Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

About The Author

Picture of Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ.

Michael Serres, ESQ. is a reputed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Astoria, Queens, NY. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1989. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1990 and is admitted in the Federal District Courts for the Southern and the Eastern Districts of New York. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Bar Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Queens County Bar Association.

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