If you have been injured at work, you may have suffered minor or devastating physical injuries. In either case, you’ll want an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at your side to help protect your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, your injuries may be so severe that you’ll be unable to return to work, which may mean you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). You may also qualify for SSD if you have a medical condition that makes it impossible to get gainful employment.
After a workplace injury, some employers or insurance companies may unfairly try to delay, deny, or reduce your compensation. This happens more frequently when they recognize you do not have the benefit of legal experience or legal representation.
Call the Plainview office of Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today at 516-496-0400 for experienced and compassionate legal representation in your workers’ compensation or SSD case. If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance that’s designed to provide specific benefits for employees who have suffered a work-related disease, injury, or death. After a death, the employee’s dependents may be entitled to benefits as well.
The Industrial Revolution developed larger and faster machinery, which prompted the workers’ compensation program to evolve to protect workers from injury. Although workers’ compensation is a national program, every state is responsible for implementing it independently.
This means that while every state has a workers’ compensation program, they differ according to the laws in your state. Every state determines how compensation is paid to the employee.
In New York, the law requires that every employer carries workers’ compensation insurance or is self-insured. However, according to New York state, self-insurance is rarely used.
Workers’ compensation insurance must cover healthcare that is related to your illness or injury caused by your job. It can pay cash benefits of two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a specific maximum. You might also be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from your health care appointments. The employer is not allowed to charge employees for the insurance premiums, and there are no co-payments for medical care.
What Is Social Security Disability?
Individuals qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) when they are unable to be gainfully employed due to a physician-diagnosed mental or physical condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months or end in death.
The Social Security Administration requires documented evidence that you suffer from a physiological, anatomical, or psychological condition. This evidence may be in the form of physician statements, imaging tests, or clinical or laboratory data. It is not enough to make a statement that you have a disabling condition.
There are many health conditions that are covered by SSD. These can include heart disease, traumatic injuries, mental disorders, and diabetes, to name a few. However, it is not enough to have a diagnosis of, for example, heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year, over 696,000 people die from heart disease, and more than 800,000 people suffer heart attacks each year. Not everyone with heart disease qualifies for SSD.
You must have documented evidence that your heart disease prevents you from being gainfully employed. Your physical limitations from the condition may include shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling in your legs and feet. These symptoms must be severe enough to impact your ability to work, and your doctor must confirm this with medical records and in writing.
Types of Cases We Handle
The legal team at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. is prepared to handle a wide variety of workplace injuries and SSD applications. It is crucial you seek the help of a lawyer who has experience in workers’ compensation and SSD law. Just as you would not go to an orthopedic surgeon for your skin disease, you should seek the help of an attorney who is well-versed in workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability.
The following industries have the greatest risk of workplace injuries. However, even working at a desk all day can cause a work-related injury.
- Construction workers
- Healthcare professionals
- Law enforcement and emergency services
- Industrial workers
- Agriculture, fishing, forestry, and hunting
- Manufacturing workers
Some of the most common injuries that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel
- Hospital workplace injuries
- Occupational spinal injuries
- Lifting injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Occupational diseases
- Spinal cord injuries
- Pre-existing injuries
- Back injuries
Steps to Take After an Injury at Work
There are several steps you should take if you are injured at work. The first is to get medical attention as quickly as possible. Your healthcare records will help document your physical injury or illness. Getting medical care right away will also help protect you if there’s a dispute about when the injury or illness occurred and whether it was work-related.
One of the primary ways of supporting your case is to gather and document evidence. As quickly as possible, the accident or illness should also be reported to your employer. As soon as you recognize that an injury or illness was caused by your work, you must tell your supervisor.
You must fill out an accident report, even if your employer says it’s not necessary. The report should be signed by you and your employer. In some cases, workers’ compensation insurance companies may try to deny a claim if they believe it was not reported promptly.
In case of an injury, take photos or video if you’re able. Photos of the area where the accident occurred, including photos of your injuries, will be helpful. Gather the names and contact information of colleagues who may have witnessed the injury.
If you believe your illness was caused by work, talk with colleagues who may also have the same illness and, document their illness and when it began as well. This information can be kept in a journal where you also track out-of-pocket expenses, travel to get treatment, medical appointments, and days missed from work.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation or SSD Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation is a unique insurance plan designed only to cover employees who were injured or got sick on the job. Many people assume this happens automatically since it is mandatory for all employers in New York to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Unfortunately, getting compensated for a work-related injury can be more difficult than it should be. A skilled and experienced lawyer can help ensure that the required paperwork is filed appropriately, appeal any unjust decision and negotiate with the insurance company.
Insurance companies have a team of highly trained lawyers and adjusters who are skilled negotiators. When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, it can help tip the scales in your favor. The legal team at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. will fight hard to get you the benefits you deserve.
After a traumatic workplace injury, you may be unable to return to work. You may also qualify for SSD because of those injuries. When you work with an experienced workers’ compensation and SSD attorney, we can seamlessly move from fighting for your workers’ compensation benefits to filing and representing you during your SSD application.
Eligibility and the application for SSD can be complex. In some cases, it’s in your best interest to apply immediately since it can take months for the Social Security Administration to make a decision. However, an early application could cause your claim to be denied.
The skilled legal team at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. uses their experience to send in your application at the correct time and ensure that it includes the relevant documentation. The information in your application is how the Social Security Administration decides about your claim.
Your claim can be denied if you fail to meet the deadline, do not comply with producing the necessary documentation, or there is a lack of medical evidence. The accomplished Plainview attorneys at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. will fight hard to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. for Help with Workers’ Compensation and SSD Benefits
If you have a medical condition that doesn’t allow you to work or have suffered a work-related injury or illness, you want an experienced and skilled attorney to fight for your rights to the compensation you deserve. You may be out of work and unable to pay your daily expenses or facing mounting medical bills without the hope of paying for them.
After a workplace accident, your employer might be unhappy with what happened and attempt to bully you into not filing a claim. When we meet with our clients, your attorney will help set realistic goals and establish honest expectations for the outcome of your case. We will not inflate the assessment of your case just to make you feel good.
Call our office today at 516-496-0400 to speak with a dedicated Plainview workers’ compensation and SSD attorney. During your confidential consultation, our attorney will listen to the details of your case and discuss with you how our team can help you secure the benefits you deserve. Contact us today.