In the aftermath of a workplace injury, one of your first steps should be the notification of your employer and the retention of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The sooner you take steps to secure workers’ compensation benefits, the less risk you run that there will be problems with your claim. In addition, the more informed you are, the better you’ll be able to work with your lawyer to get the outcome you want. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your claim.
A: Your employer and the insurer both have a vested interest in paying as little as possible (or paying nothing) to resolve your claim. It’s always a cost-benefit analysis, but it’s not at all uncommon for a workers’ compensation insurance provider to retain a private investigator to monitor your actions, often with a video camera. The best way to avoid any problems is to always be honest with your doctor about what you can and cannot do. Then you don’t have to hide anything.
A: Your employer cannot, by law, terminate you in part or in whole because you filed for workers’ compensation benefits. Practically speaking, though, it can be extremely difficult to prove a connection between the filing of a workers’ compensation claim and the loss of your job. Your employer can certainly fill your job while you are gone, but you may have some rights to have your job back when you have recovered. For example, if your injury keeps you out less than 12 weeks, you can request leave under the FMLA and your employer must keep your job open for you. In addition, you may have contractual protection of your job.
A: Most workers’ compensation claims are handled on a contingency basis. Accordingly, your attorney will only be paid if you actually receive benefits, and the amount your attorney receives will vary, based on the services provided and the amount of your award. You’ll never pay your lawyer directly, though. Any payments to your lawyer will come out of your settlement or award, and will be paid directly to your legal counsel.
A: When you are hurt, you can expect to be required to submit to an “independent” medical exam from a company-selected doctor. The best approach is always to be honest with the doctor. Don’t make up limitations if they don’t exist. If you tell the doctor you can’t lift heavy objects and you’re caught on camera toting a keg or bags of groceries, it could destroy your claim.
Effective Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Queens, New York
At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we bring more than 50 years of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers throughout the borough of Queens and New York City metropolitan area. We built our successful practice on a commitment to personal service and attention. As a result, many of our new cases come to us as referrals from our colleagues in the legal profession or from other clients.
We handle all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:
Back and Neck Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury| Burns | Paralysis |Occupational Illness | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hearing or Vision Loss | Accidental Death
For more information about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.