Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims
Welcome to the New York Workers’ Compensation Law Firm of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., serving clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, and Westchester from our New York City offices. For over fifteen years, our lawyers have provided legal advice and representation to victims of workplace injuries in the field of construction and all occupations and industries throughout the city. Our firm is dedicated to providing the finest legal representation to the injured worker throughout New York.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault, insurance-based system where employees who suffer a workplace injury can receive compensation for their medical bills and in some cases receive cash benefits as wage replacement for the period during which they are unable to work. The injured worker is not required to sue the employer and prove negligence on the part of the employer in order to receive benefits. In fact, the employee is not allowed to sue the employer at all but must instead rely on the workers’ compensation system to cover the costs.
The advantage to the worker in this system is the security in knowing that he or she will receive basic compensation in the event of an injury. On the negative side, workers’ compensation benefits are normally far less than one would recover in a personal injury negligence lawsuit, and benefits may not fully reimburse the employee for all costs and expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some instances, such as in the case of third-party liability, it is possible to sue those responsible for causing your injury through negligence or misconduct, and recover significant damages.
The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Even though workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that is not based on proving a case through litigation, obtaining benefits is far from a sure thing. The process to receiving benefits can be lengthy and complicated and adversarial at times. Your employer, and your employer’s insurance company, may fight your claim every step of the way. In order to have the best chance at success with your claim, it is recommended that you have an experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney represent you.
The process begins by filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) following a work-related injury or illness. The WCB then sends you a Statement of Rights, which is also a statement of your responsibilities, such as seeking a doctor’s care and looking for work if you are able to do so. Your employer at this point may dispute (controvert) your claim, claiming that your injury or illness is not work-related, or that you are not really injured or are exaggerating the true extent of your injury.
Trials and Appeals
If your claim is controverted by your employer, you will have a hearing before a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge, who will decide on the merits of your claim based on testimony, depositions, doctor’s reports, and other evidence brought before the judge. At this hearing and all future stages, legal representation is especially helpful in preparing and presenting your case in the most persuasive way.
You are entitled to an Administrative Review of the judge’s decision by a 3-member panel of the WCB, and in some cases a review by the Full Board. The Board Panel decision may be appealed to the Appellate Division, Third Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and that court’s decision may be further appealed to the Court of Appeals.
A New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney who is On Your Side
When your company disputes your claim, they will be represented by an insurance company law firm experienced in defending against and denying workers’ compensation claims. Even if your claim is not controverted, you can easily get lost in the complicated and tangled bureaucracy of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Having New York attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes on your side does more than just level the playing field; it gives you a good shot at receiving your workers’ compensation benefits quickly and securely. If you have been injured on the job, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for assistance in receiving your workers’ compensation benefits.