Workplace Injury Lawyers
When it comes to workplace safety, New York employers are largely on their own. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is one of the smallest federal agencies in Washington. Similar state and local agencies are likewise understaffed and underfunded, at least for the most part. Due to this lack of oversight, many employers put worker safety on the back burner. They are also willing to play fast and loose in other areas, such as wage and hour matters.
In all these situations, the aggressive New York workplace injury lawyers at the Pianko Law Group stand up for your legal and financial rights, especially your right to a safe work environment. We firmly believe that getting injured workers back on the job as soon as possible benefits everyone involved. That includes employers and employees. So, after we build a strong, evidence-based case, we never stop fighting for you.
Kinds of Workplace Injuries
Falls, electrocutions, struck by, and caught between injuries are the most common kinds of trauma injuries in New York. Contrary to popular myth, white-collar workers are just as likely to sustain such injuries as blue-collar workers. In fact, white-collar workers might face even greater risks. Falls are a good example. Common fall hazards in officers include loose carpets, open file drawers, and wet spots on floors.
These injuries occur suddenly and without warning. Occupational diseases, on the other hand, occur slowly over time. Toxic exposure, such as asbestos exposure, is a good illustration. A single microscopic asbestos fiber could cause mesothelioma, a very aggressive and rare form of heart-lung cancer. Mesothelioma’s latency period could exceed forty years. Other occupational diseases include breathing problems, hearing loss, and repetitive stress disorders.
In the early 1900s, factories and other construction sites in New York and elsewhere, especially construction sites, were very dangerous places. Serious workplace injuries were commonplace. To improve the system, workers and management compromised and agreed on an injury compensation system. Workers agreed to give up their rights to due for damages in court if employers provided no-fault insurance which paid:
Motorcycle helmets do nothing to protect against motion-related head injuries. When riders fall off their bikes and land hard, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls. This violent motion usually causes permanent injuries.
Additionally, when riders fall off their bikes, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. This reaction usually severs nerves in the brachial plexus nerve bundle, which is under the arms. Normally, this nerve damage is permanent.
Back in the day, the workers’ compensation system efficiently took care of these needs, so employees could get back to work quickly. But today’s system is a bloated bureaucracy dominated by insurance company interests. As a result, Claims Examiners often initially deny claims no matter what.
At a subsequent Administrative Law Judge hearing, a New York workplace accident lawyer can introduce evidence, challenge evidence, and make legal arguments. So, victims have a much better chance of obtaining fair compensation for their serious injuries.
This phrase is Legalese for workplace injury claims which workers; compensation does not cover. This system was never designed to be the exclusive remedy for all workplace injury claims.
We mentioned construction sites, and their hazards, above. The Scaffolding Law holds employers strictly liable for falls and all other injuries workers sustain as a result of unsafe scaffolding. This liability usually includes both economic losses, such as the aforementioned lost wages and medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
This additional compensation is also available if the employer had no workers’ compensation insurance. Although state law requires most employers to buy insurance, some blatantly ignore this requirement. Others make false statements on insurance forms, mostly regarding the number of workers or payroll size. When insurance companies discover such frauds, they usually deny coverage.
Compensation is available if the injured victim proves that negligence, or a lack of care, substantially caused the injury. To punish these employers for shirking the law, the law forbids them from using some “silver bullet” defenses, such as assumption of the risk and comparative fault. So, it’s easier to prove negligence in court.
Other possible nonsubscriber claims include reckless employers and defective products. If employers recklessly send employees to areas they know are dangerous, the aforementioned additional compensation is usually available. If a defective product caused the injury, the manufacturer is usually strictly liable for damages. These manufacturers cannot hide behind workers’ compensation laws and escape their legal responsibilities.