What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
With Offices in Riverhead, Melville, Garden City, & Patchogue Long Island
Have you suffered a work injury and are searching for a Nassau County or Suffolk County Long Island Workers' Compensation attorney and need help? If so, call us today!
An employer may not charge employees for this coverage. An employee may not sue his employer for benefits. In workers’ compensation, neither the employer nor the employee is deemed at fault for the accident or injury. In some cases, however, where a third party is at fault for the injury, an additional lawsuit against that third party may be possible in addition to the claim.
If you have been injured in an accident on the job or have suffered an occupational injury or illness, you are entitled to benefits under the New York State Workmans' Compensation Law. These benefits include payment of doctor bills and cash payments to you for lost time from work or reduction in earnings due to your injury or illness.
If the claim is disputed by the insurance carrier or the self-insured employer, benefits are not payable pending a determination by the Workers' Compensation Board. This will involve hearings before an Administrative Law Judge who may consider testimony from the injured employee and/or employer, as well as medical witnesses. The Law Judge will then determine whether the claim is valid, and, if so, what benefits the injured employee is entitled to. Even if the claim is not disputed, issues often arise as to an injured worker’s entitlement to benefits. These issues also are resolved by an Administrative Law Judge at hearings held at the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. The insurance carrier or the self-insured employer will have legal representation at these hearings. So should you.
The New York State Workers' Compensation Board is a state agency that oversees your claim. The Board determines the amount and type of benefits you will receive based upon your claim. The benefits are paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Each claim is different and must be handled on its own merits.
Consultations are free. There are never any out of pocket legal fees. Legal fees are awarded by the New York State Workmans' Compensation Board, and are deducted from any monetary awards made to the injured worker by that agency. If there are no such awards, the injured person is not liable for legal fees.
The workers’ compensation process can be complex, long and tedious. The insurance carrier works for your employer, not for you. The insurance company does not have your best interest at heart.
The Law Firm of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn has many years of experience as an attorney working both sides of this complex legal system. Let our expertise work for you to ensure that you receive those benefits which you deserve.
Workers' Compensation History
While basic concepts for workers compensation had been present in the workforce for hundreds of years prior, it was not until the industrial revolution that a structure took form. With so many employees working in hazardous conditions involving machinery and risky jobs, injuries became quite common. Railroads, factories with machines and bridges were just a few areas of the industrial era in which workers could fall, loose a finger or suffer a concussion. Because these were new technologies to everyone, not all employees received proper training and proper safety precautions were not put into place. The safety measures and laws were not caught up. Not only were there immediate, physical injuries caused by heavy equipment, ailments which appeared later in someone's life were unknown at the time of employment. Respiratory problems may not become apparent until years after exposure to continuous toxic particles in the air. This is why laws such as the Black Lung Benefits Act was implemented. In 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to enforce safe working conditions as well as provide training, outreach and education.
While many forms of construction from this period still exist, there are much better plans in place today for compensation of injury. It was, however, a long evolution of changing laws. And laws vary in each state in the country. Consult with a workers compensation attorney to fully understand what you are entitled to under today's rules and regulations. Below are some historic laws that have been passed to help employees.
Black Lung Benefits Act
Since the 18th century, coal mining was a lucrative method to extract coal to use as energy. But there is a price to pay. Not only have there been many deaths resulting from explosions and falling debris, the inhalation of dust and toxic fumes have caused devastation to miners. Finally in 1973, the Black Lung Benefits Act was issued in the United States to compensate miners suffering from black lung disease.
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act
Introduced in 1927, this act covers most dock and maritime employees not covered by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. A worker under this act is entitled to temporary compensation benefits if he or she needs medical attention. In the early 1970's, this law was adjusted for “landward” coverage as well.