When an injury renders you unable to work, causes you significant pain, and saddles you with substantial debt, you may feel helpless and at a loss as to how to proceed. You may also live with the constant stress and fear that comes with not knowing where your next paycheck will come from or how you are going to pay for your medical expenses, rent, or utility bills.
While it is natural to feel stress at such a difficult time in your life, know that help is available. From where you receive it, however, depends on where your accident occurred, how you sustained your injury and the nature of your relationship with the at-fault party, if applicable.
Fortunately for accident victims who live with personal injuries, whether due to car accidents, medical malpractice, or workplace incidents, the law provides several avenues of recovery of monetary compensation. A New York personal injury lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, and personal injury law and procedures can help you explore your rights based on your unique circumstances and those surrounding your accident and injuries.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that guarantees injured workers the right to medical benefits and lost wages despite fault. At the same time, it protects employers against personal injury lawsuits since, in exchange for the guaranteed benefits, employees forfeit their rights to sue.
Per the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, virtually all employers throughout the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance and paid leave benefits to most individuals who perform services for their for-profit businesses.
“Most individuals” include any worker who classifies as one or more of the following:
Even if your employer is one of the hundreds of thousands throughout the state that complies with workers’ compensation laws, and even if you qualify as a covered individual, you may face an uphill battle when trying to assert your rights to medical benefits, lost wages, and other forms of compensation. The workers’ comp system is not without its faults, and you may struggle to meet the board’s complex guidelines, which could delay your medical care and payment. Your employer or its insurer may also attempt to deny your claim, asserting you sustained your injury out of work, or that you are not disabled.
When it comes to both your physical recovery and financial well-being, time is of the essence. To prevent the delay of your benefits — or, worse, the complete denial of your claim — work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from day one. Our team at Pyrros & Serres, LLP, will help you file your claim, submit all the required supporting documentation, and do what is necessary to protect your rights to benefits.
If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, there is a strong chance that you may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits. SSDI is available to workers who have a qualifying disability and who are unable to work for one year or more because of their disability. They must also have an appropriate number of Social Security work credits. If you do qualify for SSDI, and if you plan to file for both workers’ compensation benefits and disability benefits, it is crucial that you retain the help of a knowledgeable SSDI attorney in New York City.
Though workers’ comp and SSDI are separate programs, they are not independent of one another. How they intersect is complicated, and your lawyer can explain it to you more in depth during your initial meeting.
When another person’s or entity’s negligence causes an accident that results in your injury, the law may entitle you to seek compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Unlike with both workers’ compensation and SSDI, there are no limits to how much you may recover in New York personal injury cases, including a motor vehicle accident.
If successful, you can recover damages for your medical bills — both past and future lost wages, loss of earning potential, long-term rehabilitation costs, and more. You may also recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and emotional distress, or wrongful death of a loved one.
Typically, you would file a personal injury claim if your injury is non-work related and/or you do not have a working relationship with the at-fault party. However, in very few instances, such as if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage; you may be able to sue your employer via a personal injury lawsuit.
Whatever your situation, know that a personal injury case has its own special rules for filing and prevailing that experienced workers. Comp lawyers know well. Our attorneys at Pyrros & Serres LLP, can assess your case, determine if you have a claim and, if so, do what is necessary to help you protect your rights and secure the maximum amount of compensation.