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Workers Compensation Representation in Nassau County

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Nassau County Workers’ Compensation Resource Guide

Suffering an injury at work is no laughing matter. Major injuries — like amputations, head and neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries — can keep workers off the job for months or even years, while even minor injuries, like broken bones, can also mean a loss of income for a substantial amount of time. Workers’ compensation is designed to soften the financial blow of work injuries, but the actual amount of workers’ compensation benefits a claimant receives can vary significantly. Our Nassau County workers’ compensation lawyers can help injured workers obtain the maximum benefits they are entitled to. 

The Most Common Occupations and Industries in Nassau County 

According to Data USA, the most common occupations in Nassau County, and the percentage of the workforce engaged in them, are: 

  • Office and administrative support occupations (12.6%)
  • Management occupations (10.8%)
  • Sales and related occupations (10.7%)
  • Education, instruction, and library occupations (8.6%)
  • Business and financial operations occupations (7.1%)
  • Health diagnosing and treating practitioners and other technical operations (6.7%)
  • Construction and extraction occupations (4.0%)
  • Food preparation and serving related occupations (3.9%)
  • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (3.7%)
  • Transportation occupations (3.5%)

The most common industries in the county and the percentage of the workforce engaged in them are: 

  • Healthcare and social assistance (16.3%)
  • Educational services (12.5%)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services (9.8%)
  • Retail trade (9.0%)
  • Finance and insurance (8.1%)
  • Construction (5.7%)
  • Transportation and warehousing (5.3%)
  • Accommodation and food services (5.2%)
  • Public administration (5.1%)
  • Other services, except public administration (4.2%)

Benefits Available for Injured Workers in New York 

Workers’ compensation benefits come in three flavors: medical benefits, cash benefits, and death benefits. Medical benefits cover the full cost of all necessary medical treatment, including diagnostics, emergency room care, surgery, post-surgery rehabilitation, and medical equipment. Cash benefits cover a portion of the worker’s wages using the formula ⅔ average weekly wage x % of disability = weekly cash benefit. Death benefits, also known as survivor benefits, are paid to the deceased worker’s surviving spouse and/or children using the formula ⅔ x average wage = weekly benefit.  

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Requirements 

Almost all employees in New York are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. That includes: 

  • Employees of for-profit enterprises, including full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, casual, leased, and borrowed employees
  • Most employees of non-profit enterprises and institutions 
  • Employees of the State of New York 
  • Employees at the county and municipal level who are engaged in hazardous duties
  • Public school employees
  • Farm laborers 

Employees who are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in New York include: 

  • New York City police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and public school teachers
  • Private school teachers
  • Sole proprietors with no employees
  • Corporate officers of one or two person-owned businesses that have no employees
  • Clergy and members of religious orders
  • Nonprofit volunteers 

Eligibility for independent contractors can be complex. The general rule is that independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation because they are not “employees.” However, merely deeming a worker an “independent contractor” does not make them one, and employers have been known to misclassify employees as independent contractors specifically to circumvent workers’ compensation coverage requirements. Our Nassau County workers’ compensation lawyers can assist injured employees who believe they have been improperly classified as independent contractors. 

The Workers’ Compensation Claim Process 

All workers should familiarize themselves with the workers’ compensation claim process in New York. Even if you have not suffered a workplace injury, you should know what to do if you do suffer a workplace injury in the future. At a very high level, the workers’ compensation claim process in New York proceeds as follows: 

  • Immediately after suffering a work-related injury: Seek medical treatment
  • Within 30 days: Notify your supervisor of your injury 
  • Within two years (but preferably as soon as possible): File an employee claim (Form C-3) with the Workers’ Compensation Board

At this point, the ball shifts into the employer and insurance carrier’s court. The employer must notify their insurance carrier within 10 days of being notified of the employee’s injury. Within 14 days of being notified by the employer, the insurance carrier must provide the injured employee with a statement of their rights and requirements. Within 18 days of being notified by the employer, the insurance carrier begins carrying benefits unless it disputes the claim. 

How to Make Sure You Receive Maximum Benefits

Many workers’ compensation claimants falsely believe that they are totally at the mercy of their employer and insurance carrier when it comes to the payment of workers’ compensation benefits. While it’s true that the ultimate decision is out of the employee’s hands, employees need not be passive spectators — there are actions they can take to maximize the workers’ compensation benefits they receive. 

Follow the Rules 

The easiest thing you can do to maximize your benefits is to follow the workers’ compensation claim process to the letter. The deadlines explained above may seem simple now but can easily be missed amid the shuffle of the aftermath of a workplace injury. 

Keep Records 

Insurance companies often dispute workers’ compensation claims by arguing that (a) the injury is not work-related and (b) the workers’ disability is not as severe as they claim. One way to rebut the first argument is by obtaining the names and contact information of everyone who witnessed your workplace accident, as well as any photographic or video evidence that exists. One way to rebut the second argument is by keeping a journal in which you document your subjective experience of pain and how it is affecting your day-to-day life.  

Ensure That Your Statements Are Consistent 

You likely will be asked the same questions many times over the course of your workers’ compensation claim. To the extent possible, try to give the same answer each time — or, at the very least, change your story. Giving conflicting or contradictory accounts can lead to your claim being denied and, in some cases, may even form the basis for allegations of workers’ compensation fraud. A good way to avoid such statements is to allow a Nassau County workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your communications with your employer and insurance carrier regarding your claim.

Explain What Happened, But Only What Happened  

Explain the events that led to your injury with as much detail as possible. Failure to adequately describe your workplace accident or vagueness in your description of it could lead to your claim being denied. However, if you are asked pointed questions about what happened — say, by a doctor hired by the insurance company — answer only what is asked. Do not volunteer any extraneous information, as doing so could harm your case.  

Maximize Your Benefits With Help From Our Nassau County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Claiming workers’ compensation benefits is an endeavor that is filled with pitfalls for the unwary. The best way to avoid damaging your claim is to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. To get started, please contact the Nassau County workers’ compensation lawyers at Turley, Redmond & Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at 516-745-5666. 

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