Our Trusted Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Long Island, New York

Workers in Long Island enjoy protection from the negative consequences of workplace injuries. Under strict federal and state law, most employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. This form of insurance provides a safety net for injured workers, ensuring that even if they suffer a debilitating accident on the job, they can still support their families and cover their medical expenses. But while all employees in Long Island should enjoy these rights, fighting for them isn’t always easy. This is why it might be a good idea to work with a qualified workers’ comp attorney in Long Island as you pursue your workers’ compensation claim.

How Can a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Long Island Help Me?

Long Island is home to 8 million people, and many of these residents are hardworking employees in various industries. With its proximity to Manhattan, many workers in Long Island are employed in the financial sector. Thanks to the JFK International Airport, many workers in Long Island are employed in the air travel sector. Long Island is also home to a strong agricultural industry (particularly wine production) and a bustling tourism sector. Regardless of where you are employed, there is always the potential for workplace injuries. Even those who work from home can potentially file workers’ compensation claims.

A workers’ comp attorney can assist injured employees in various ways:

  • Provide advice and answer questions during an initial consultation
  • Help gather evidence and documentation that supports your claim
  • Provide guidance when it comes to handling medical records
  • Help negotiate a settlement with the insurance company
  • Appeal a denied claim (if required)
  • Represent you during hearings or trials
  • Help you maximize your workers’ comp benefits

What Counts as a Workplace Injury in Long Island?

Generally speaking, any workplace injury you suffer on the job may lead to compensation under workers’ compensation laws. In order to qualify as a workplace injury, it must occur during the course of normal employment-related duties. These injuries often occur on workplace premises, but this is not always the case.

Here are some examples of workplace injuries that occur on work premises:

  • A construction worker falls three stories and breaks both their legs
  • A chef suffers disfiguring facial burns from boiling soup
  • An employee suffers electrical burns while working at a computer store
  • A grocery shelf stocker slips and falls on a spill, leading to a shattered hip
  • A factory worker is exposed to a toxic chemical that eventually causes lung cancer
  • An airport worker is struck by a baggage cart, causing a torn ankle ligament
  • A farm worker suffers heat stroke while working in a field under the sun
  • A bank teller is shot by a bank robber, suffering several gunshot wounds

However, there are also many examples of workplace injuries that occur outside of work premises:

  • A truck driver crashes on the highway while delivering goods
  • An Amazon delivery worker is attacked by a dog on someone’s property
  • A construction worker is sent on an errand to pick up lumber and suffers injuries
  • A remote worker falls down their stairs while rushing to attend a virtual meeting
  • A door-to-door salesperson is assaulted by a homeowner

Some of these situations are highly subjective. For example, a worker might slip and fall on ice in a car park while leaving the workplace on their coffee break. The worker might argue that this constitutes a workplace injury, while the employer might argue that they were “off the clock” at the time. This shows how workers’ comp claims are frequently denied, appealed, and contested.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a mandated insurance program that provides a central fund for all injured workers in the state. Employers must pay into this fund by getting workers’ comp coverage. This coverage must cover all of their employees, including part-time workers and family members of the employer. Only a few businesses are exempt from this requirement. One notable example is a one or two-person-owned corporation, with these owners holding 100% of the stock and holding all of the corporation’s offices.

A successful workers’ comp claim can provide a range of benefits, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Cash benefits worth two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to a certain point)
  • Travel expenses incurred due to your medical expenses

Are Independent Contractors Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

In New York, employers are not required to provide any workers’ comp coverage for independent contractors. Independent contractors might include workers like:

  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Subcontractors
  • Freelance writers
  • Freelance graphic designers
  • Social media marketing consultants
  • Real estate agents
  • Talent agents

Even if you consider yourself to be an independent contractor, you may still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is because employers often “misclassify” their workers as independent contractors as an intentional strategy to avoid paying for workers’ comp insurance. This is essentially fraud, and it is a serious type of misconduct. Misclassified employees can still pursue workers’ comp benefits.

The Scaffold Law in New York

The Scaffold Law in New York is one of the most unique pieces of legislation across the nation. This law – which is more than 100 years old – states that employees can sue their employers directly if they suffer a gravity-related injury of any kind. This generally involves falls, but it might also include objects that fall onto workers from distances. Suing employers directly may be preferable to workers’ comp claims because it allows plaintiffs to claim non-economic damages.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney in Long Island?

If you have been searching for an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Long Island, look no further than the Law Office of Frank A. Cetero. Workers comp attorneys can assist injured employees with a range of issues, including denied workers’ comp claims. The best way to assess your route toward compensation is to book a consultation at your earliest convenience. During this consultation, you can discuss your unique situation, ask questions, and receive targeted guidance. Reach out today to get started.