White Plains Workers’ Compensation & Social Security Disability Lawyer
When you are hurt, unable to work and faced with the reality of needing to file a legal claim, you want someone who is familiar with the claims process on your side. With the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC, you will have an experienced, strong advocate working on your team. Contact our White Plains workers’ compensation & social security disability lawyers today, we can help.
New York Workers’ Compensation Laws
New York law requires that all employers have workers’ compensation insurance. This ensures that employees who suffer from work-related injuries or occupational diseases receive the compensation to which they are entitled.
An injured worker need not prove that the employer is at fault but only that the injury or disease in question was occupation-related. In exchange for receiving workers’ compensation benefits, employees give up their right to sue their employers for negligence or personal injury.
It is important to understand that an employer or its insurance company can and may deny a workers’ compensation claim. If this occurs, it is best to seek legal counsel from an experienced lawyer. Even if your claim is not denied, it may be helpful to speak with a lawyer to better understand your rights and the benefits to which you are entitled.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
In New York, nearly all employers must provide coverage in one of three ways. Coverage can be bought through a private insurance company or from the New York State Insurance Fund, or an employer can choose to self-insure and pay benefits directly. Should an employer fail to provide coverage, the New York State Uninsured Employers Fund will pay the benefits to an injured employee.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
In the event of a work-related injury, one might wonder what benefits one will receive. An injured or ill worker will receive benefits to cover medical expenses from a health care provider who is authorized by the workers’ compensation board. Additionally, an injured worker may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
If a claimant is partially or temporarily disabled for more than seven days and is unable to work, lost wages will be calculated according to the average weekly wages of the injured employee. An employee can recover up to two-thirds of lost wages.
If a claimant is able to work but has suffered an injury that prevents him or her from receiving the same wages he or she would receive had the injury not occurred, New York law provides that the claimant receives compensation to make up for up to two-thirds of the difference.
In addition to medical and lost wages benefits, if a worker dies from a work-related injury, his or her surviving spouse and/or children may be entitled to weekly payments of up to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly pay. Funeral expenses may also be paid.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Exclusive Remedies
Workers’ compensation benefits typically exclude pain and suffering from the types of compensation provided. To be clear, workers’ compensation benefits protect an employee from lost wages and the direct financial costs of a workplace injury. As such, workers’ compensation benefits protect an employee’s earnings, but they do not provide an employee with an option for seeking damages beyond those direct financial losses.
It can be difficult for an injured worker to seek compensation for pain and suffering because workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy under New York law. What is an exclusive remedy? This means that the benefits provided by the employer’s workers’ compensation policy are the exclusive benefits or remedies available to the injured worker, and the injured worker cannot file a claim against the employer to seek additional damages.
When Can an Injured Worker File a Claim Against a Third Party?
Are there ever situations in which an injured worker can obtain workers’ compensation benefits and seek damages for pain and suffering? While these situations are limited, there may be instances in which a third party caused the accident in which the worker suffered injuries. In such a case, the worker may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits while also filing a lawsuit against a third party in order to seek damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation. Examples might include:
- Worker got hurt while driving a vehicle for work deliveries after a negligent motorist unaffiliated with the employer struck the worker’s vehicle (worker may be able to seek compensation from the negligent motorist);
- Worker suffered injuries after being struck by a negligent motorist while engaged in work at a roadside construction site (worker may be able to seek compensation from the negligent motorist); or
- Worker suffered injuries due to a defective machine being used at the worksite (worker may be able to seek additional compensation from the designer, manufacturer, or marketer of the product).
If you or a loved one was injured in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. However, workers’ compensation cases can be complex, especially if the employer or the insurance company denies the claim. The assistance of a lawyer can help you better understand the claims process and the benefits to which you are entitled. The lawyers at the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC are experienced in these types of cases and can provide support and legal counsel throughout the claims process. It is best not to accept any offer without speaking with an experienced attorney.
Client Commitment Is A Priority At Our Firm
Client commitment is a top priority at our firm and we always try to create strong working relationships with our clients. We want you to bring your questions and concerns to the table and feel comfortable discussing the issues of your case with Michael and our knowledgeable support staff.
At the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon, PLLC, we are proud to say that we receive many of the cases we undertake as referrals from other lawyers and both past and current clients. Michael has over 20 years of legal experience, which have been almost exclusively focused on Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers’ compensation. He has also been practicing in the area of veterans benefits claims for over 10 years, having handled cases at the Regional Office, BVA, CAVC and Federal Circuit levels. Our clients value the reputation we have made for ourselves and the level of experience we have in handling complex cases.
Contact A White Plains Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Serving New York
Our White Plains workers’ compensation & social security lawyers never charge for initial consultations, and all benefits claims are worked on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid a fee unless we obtain benefits for you. Please contact us at 914-294-2145 or online. Our office is located in White Plains and we handle workers’ compensation and SSD cases throughout Westchester County, the five boroughs of New York, other nearby areas and veterans benefits cases, nationally.