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Workers’ Compensation Case in New York
When a New York employee is injured or becomes ill as the result of their occupation, they have the right to seek financial restitution. Typically, payments take the form of workers’ compensation insurance benefits.
Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to protect employees from the costs resulting from workplace injuries. While it is relatively simple to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, securing the money that you deserve can be difficult.
For this reason, it’s important for injured workers to contact a skilled legal representative. Having a workers’ compensation attorney work for you will help to ensure an appropriate settlement amount in your case.
Many injured employees face pressing financial challenges. Because of this, most victims wonder about the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York.
Below we will discuss many of the most important issues related to workers’ compensation settlements, including the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York.
If you have been hurt while performing your job, don’t hesitate. Consult a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney to pursue the money you need and deserve.
The accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan has decades of experience representing workplace accident victims. To arrange a no-cost evaluation with our attorneys, fill out the easy-to-use contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website.
Understanding New York Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Most workers’ compensation claims in the state of New York are resolved through a settlement. There are many reasons why employees decide to settle their cases.
For instance, most injury victims face mounting medical bills that must be paid. Also, accepting a settlement avoids the unpredictable process of a workers’ compensation hearing.
Still, many victims are concerned about the timeline of their case. They wonder about the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York state.
Generally, accepting a settlement closes a workers’ compensation case completely. That’s why it is vital to speak with a knowledgeable attorney before accepting any settlement amount.
Without the right training or advice, you might accept an inadequate or lowball amount.
Types of New York Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Under New York state law, there are two primary types of settlements. These are known as “stipulation” agreements and “Section 32” settlements. We will discuss each type of settlement below.
In some workplace injury cases, the victim and the insurance provider agree on the severity of the claimant’s disability. When this happens, both parties might agree to a specific amount of workers’ compensation benefits to which the victim is entitled.
For this reason, stipulation agreements are relatively simple. However, it’s still critical to have a legal professional represent your best interests throughout negotiations with the insurance company.
If you and the insurance provider agree about the amount of workers’ compensation benefits owed to you, you will sign a stipulation agreement. After the relevant documentation is filed, benefits are paid each week.
Suppose your workplace injury resulted in an arm amputation. Assuming the evidence proved your injury was a result of you performing your job, the insurance provider could agree to provide all the benefits you asked for.
There are laws detailing “scheduled loss benefits.” These are predetermined amounts of workers’ compensation benefits that victims receive for specific injuries or illnesses.
For example, New York state law provides workers with an amputated arm 312 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits. These payments are typically two-thirds of the worker’s normal weekly wages.
If your attorney secures a stipulation agreement in your claim, it can influence the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York.
Section 32 Settlement
Section 32 settlements are legal agreements to terminate a workers’ comp claim in exchange for a specific financial amount. Typically, this type of agreement involves one lump sum payment to the victim.
But some instances involve payments over a longer period. Usually, insurance providers would prefer to conclude their obligations with a single payment to the claimant.
In most cases, a Section 32 settlement will be the final part of your workers’ compensation claim. By agreeing to this type of settlement, you will be giving up your rights to additional claims.
You should be sure to speak with an accomplished workers’ compensation lawyer before agreeing to any type of workers’ compensation settlement. This is true regardless of the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York.
Changing Your Mind After a Workers’ Comp Settlement
In the state of New York, both types of workers’ compensation settlements are dependent upon the approval of a judge. Stipulation agreements require the claimant to present their settlement to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
These agreements can be submitted in writing or through verbal testimony before a judge. Finalizing a Section 32 settlement is more difficult.
In the case of a Section 32 settlement, the claimant must submit a written copy of the agreement and a waiver agreement to the Workers’ Compensation Board of New York.
After submitting these documents, the Board will review the facts of your workers’ compensation settlement. Then, the Board will arrange a time to hold a settlement hearing.
During this settlement hearing, the overseeing judge will assess the facts of the Section 32 settlement in detail. If the following two criteria have been met, the judge will approve the settlement:
- The proposed settlement is reasonable and fair
- The claimant fully understands the terms of the proposed settlement
The decision that the judge makes will be final. Because of this, you should secure the services of a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.
A skilled lawyer will thoroughly review the proposed settlement to ensure that it accurately reflects the value of your case. You should not accept an inadequate settlement offer from an insurance provider that doesn’t represent your interests.
Having a legal representative will also help to ensure that your claim does not take longer than the average time it takes to settle workers’ comp cases in New York.
How Much Can You Expect to Recover in Workers’ Compensation Claims?
There are many factors that influence the value of a workers’ compensation case. Some of the most important elements of determining a workers’ compensation claim include:
- The value of lost wages
- The price of current medical treatments and prescriptions
- The expected cost of future medical care
- The victim’s impairment rating
- The claimant’s education level
- The cost of job retraining for the victim
Typically, workers’ compensation benefits cover the direct financial costs that victims experience. These benefits are not intended to cover intangible losses.
Some of the most common examples of negative outcomes from an injury include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of ability to enjoy life
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
In tort personal injury claims, this type of compensation is known as “non-economic” damages. However, workers’ compensation beneficiaries are not entitled to non-economic damages.
In most instances, injured employees are not permitted to file a civil lawsuit against their employer. But if the negligent behavior of a third party contributed to your accident or injury, you may be able to pursue damages through litigation.
If you need assistance pursuing workers’ compensation benefits following an accident, reach out to the accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan. Our knowledgeable employment law attorneys have the skills and experience necessary to recover the financial compensation that injured workers deserve.
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What Is an Impairment Rating?
When an employee’s injury leaves them with some type of permanent disability, they still may be able to work. This may be true even if they cannot perform their previous job function.
If a victim is able to do some form of work after their injury, the physician will provide a “permanent impairment rating.” This rating is a percentage that specifies the extent to which the victim has lost their bodily function.
The impairment rating percentage is used to determine the amount of permanent partial disability benefits the injured person is due.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Paid?
Most trustworthy tort lawyers are compensated through a contingency fee payment approach. This type of payment option ensures that all workplace injury victims have the option to pursue justice.
You should not have to pay upfront attorneys’ fees in order to seek the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve. When you hire one of the legal experts at Morgan & Morgan, you will pay nothing unless we successfully settle or win your workers’ comp case.
During your initial meeting, we will agree to a specific portion of the winnings from your case. After we settle or win your claim, that percentage will be allocated to pay your attorneys’ fees.
In other words, you will not pay a single nickel unless we recover the money that you are rightfully due. You should never hire a law firm that requires payment before agreeing to take your case.
Is It Important to Hire an Attorney With Courtroom Experience?
Yes! This is especially true in workers’ compensation claims.
Although most workers’ comp claims settle without the need for litigation, some do proceed to the courtroom. Also, your case may require hearings or other legal proceedings.
Having a trained legal specialist represent your best interests will give you the highest likelihood of recovering the compensation that you deserve. The professionals at Morgan & Morgan know what it takes to successfully represent our clients before a judge.
Our firm boasts more than 700 trial-ready legal professionals across the country. When you hire us, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands.
Morgan & Morgan Will Fight for You
When you need the best legal representation in your New York workers’ compensation case, contact our firm. The trusted team at Morgan & Morgan has successfully won and settled more than a million cases since our founding.
As a result of our impressive track record, we have secured over $10 billion in recovery awards for our clients. No matter what the circumstances of your workers’ compensation claim, we can help.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, fill out the simple contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website today.