The Risk Of Drowsy Driving

There’s really no argument that drowsy driving is quite dangerous. It may not be immediately apparent, but driving while intensely feeling sleepy can be equally as dangerous as drunk driving. According to a study by the AAA in 2018, drowsiness is responsible for about 9.5 percent of car crashes in the US. This means lots of possibly avoidable deaths and personal injuries are caused by sleepy drivers. This is partly responsible for the increase in demand for Bronx personal injury attorney

Whether or not road accidents occur could boil down to a split second decision. Swerving the car to avoid a straying pedestrian or hitting the break during a near collision are actions that require the driver to be on full alert. Being drowsy on the wheel significantly reduces alertness and decision making speed. This means, even while a sleeping driver is aware of an impending accident, his (or her) slow response time makes it nearly impossible to avoid an accident. 

Apart from slow response time, making the right judgment when something is going wrong is equally critical. Being drowsy behind the wheel can impair your decision-making abilities as much as alcohol. As a matter of fact – if you haven’t slept for the past 24 hours – it’s equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of .10 which is higher than the allowed legal level of less than .80. 

However, drowsy driving could be almost impossible to avoid for a lot of people. Even the most well-intentioned of drivers get stuck in the web of drowsy driving. Sleep may seem like a subtle natural force, but it sure has a thing for having its way when it wants. There’s almost no way to cheat sleep and get away with it. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then you run a significantly higher risk of drowsy driving. 

An average adult should have at least 7 hours of sleep daily. Unfortunately, millions of Americans who own and drive automobiles aren’t getting that much sleep. Sleep deprivation is undoubtedly one of the primary causes of drowsy driving. Getting enough sleep before hitting the road could turn out to be a lifesaver.

Avoiding Drowsy Driving

Considering the accompanying danger, it’s very important to avoid being asleep behind the wheels. While getting enough sleep works for a lot of people, some drivers still find themselves dosing off even when they get more than 7 hours of sleep daily. If you’re experiencing such a problem, it might be important to avoid driving for a while until you sort out yourself. But commercial drivers and people who drive themselves to work might find that a little hard to do.  

So how exactly can you ensure your safety in such a scenario? Here are a few things that can help.

Get a medical check-up

It may not show apparent symptoms, but if you’re having enough sleep but still have a hard time staying awake behind wheels, you may be having a medical condition. For instance, obstructive sleep apnea – a popular sleep disorder, can reduce the quality of your sleep even when you’ve spent more than 7 hours at it. If you are having such a condition you might be more likely to feel tired while on the wheel. 

Unfortunately, you might not even know you have a sleep disorder, so it’s usually a good thing to check in with a doctor for diagnosis if you feel something isn’t right. Proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders should help you regain health as well as stay awake and alert while driving. 

Avoid being too tired

Sleep deprivation may be the major cause of drowsy driving, but being overworked and tired is sure going to get you drowsy. Driving your car back from a long day at work is cool, but taking a taxi might be safer for you. If you do intense or strenuous jobs all day at your office it might be in your interest to avoid driving. 

Similarly, if you’ve participated in any form of a sporting event like football, you may be very tired and unfit to drive as well. Such tiredness could be even more dangerous if you’ve had no time to rest and you go out driving at night. Tiredness could just be as big a risk as sleep deprivation, when behind the wheel. Before hitting the road, give yourself as much rest as you can and ensure to stay away from strenuous activities if you may need to drive soon.

Check your medications

If you’re having enough sleep, not suffering any sleep disorder and usually well rested but still having problems staying awake on the wheels – you should probably have a look at your meds. Many prescription or over-the-counter drugs are laden with substances that can make you quite drowsy. A lot of people are unaware of the side effects of medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, anxiety drugs, and muscle relaxers. These drugs are capable of inducing sleepiness, even much so when you’re driving – basically seated in the same position almost idle for a long amount of time.  

 

Of course, there are other people who take sleep aids to help improve the quality of their sleep but don’t hide the instructions to sleep for about eight hours afterward. Doing this only invites big problems; drug-induced sleep could be even much more intense. 

To avoid drowsy driving, make sure to equally avoid sleep aids if possible. If you’re suffering from health conditions that necessitate the use of sleep aids, strictly adhere to doctor’s instructions and sleep as much as possible before driving. 

Drive with a companion

Even if you are well rested, driving hours and hours on long distance journeys could eventually make you tired and sleepy. When traveling on long distances, it is highly recommended to travel with a companion who can take the wheels while you take some minutes of rest. 

Also, a companion can keep you engaged in a conversation, which increases your chances of staying awake. Going solo on a long distance journey could get you easily bored, tired and subsequently drowsy. Studies have shown that drowsy drivers are unable to notice that they are driving poorly. A companion is also in the best place to notice when your driving is becoming erratic and opt for taking turns. 

Driving while being tired and sleepy makes you a danger to yourself, government properties and other road users. It could result in  While a little dose of caffeine is a good way to stay awake and alert, it might not work well with everyone. Make sure to avoid as many things that could cause sleep deprivation or randomly induce sleep – stay awake and alert – and drive safely.

HOW TO GET COMPENSATION FOR ELECTRICAL INJURIES IN NEW YORK (AND WHY YOU MAY NEED THAT COMPENSATION)

Electrical shock injuries can drastically and very negatively change your life. Electrical injuries can permanently damage your skin, hearing, vision, nervous system, and internal organs. In fact, contact with an electrical current can cause permanent paralysis and sometimes sudden death.

If you survive a serious electrical injury, you may suffer some of the effects for the rest of your life. If you’re injured by electricity and someone else was at fault, you can seek compensation for your medical bills with a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim.

How do electric shock injuries happen? How can they be avoided? And where can you turn for legal help if you suffer an electric shock injury because another person was negligent? If you’ll keep reading, a Bronx personal injury attorney will provide those answers and more about electrical injuries and your rights.

WHERE ARE ELECTRICAL INJURIES LIKELY TO HAPPEN?

Construction workers are particularly at risk for electrical injuries caused by safety violations and negligence at construction sites. You can also suffer electrical injuries at home or work through contact with electrical appliances and outlets.

Even contact with low-voltage currents can lead to burn injuries and to muscle or nerve damage. Specifically, the most frequent causes of electrical injuries “around the house” include:

  1. exposed or frayed electrical wires
  2. electrical outlets set in unsafe locations
  3. defectively manufactured electrical appliances
  4. faulty wiring in pools and hot tubs

In and around New York City, if you are injured by electricity because another person was negligent – or if you’re not sure whether negligence was involved – discuss your case and your legal rights immediately with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.

HOW DO ELECTRICAL INJURIES HAPPEN AT CONSTRUCTION SITES?

Electrocution can happen at construction sites when a construction worker has direct or indirect contact with live wiring or with equipment that includes light fixtures, control panels, junction boxes, transformers, and circuit breakers.

Construction workers also suffer electrical injuries from contact with power lines and from defective power tools and frayed extension cords. Standing in water or allowing extension cords or lights to have contact with water can cause construction site electrocutions.

HOW WILL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP YOU?

If you are injured at work, an injury attorney can help you file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers’ compensation covers the medical expenses and partially replaces the lost wages of most workers in New York who are injured on the job.

If you are injured away from the workplace by electricity, and if another party was negligent, you can pursue a personal injury claim, and a personal injury lawyer will advocate aggressively on your behalf for the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.

Injury victims who prevail with a personal injury claim are compensated for their medical expenses – including projected future medical costs – as well as their lost wages and lost earning capacity, their personal pain and suffering, and all of their related losses and damages.

If the negligence that injured you was egregious or intentional, you might also be awarded punitive damages. In personal injury cases, punitive damages are additional compensation that is intended as punishment for a defendant’s egregious or intentional behavior.

WHAT ARE THE SEVERAL KINDS OF ELECTRICAL INJURIES?

Obviously, death by electrocution is the worst kind of electrical injury, and if you lose a loved one this way, you should speak promptly to a personal injury attorney about bringing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party – and acquiring compensation for your family.

But apart from electrocution, OSHA has identified three types of electrical injuries that can be catastrophic:

  1. Burn injuries: An electrical current actually burns tissue as it moves through the body. Permanent disfigurement is one possible consequence.
  2. Shock injuries: As little as fifty volts can trigger muscle spasms, halt breathing, and stop a heartbeat. Higher voltages mean an even higher risk of serious injury.
  3. Injuries suffered from falls caused by shock: Electrical shock can cause an immediate loss of muscle control that may cause a victim to fall from a roof, ladder, or scaffold.

WHAT ARE THE MOST SEVERE ELECTRICAL INJURIES?

Someone who suffers electrical shock or electrical burns might not ever fully and completely heal. Hearing or vision loss, brain or nerve damage, and cardiovascular problems triggered by an electrical injury are likely to be permanent.

An electrical injury’s severity is determined by the voltage, the amount of time that a victim is exposed to the current, and a victim’s medical condition when the accident occurs.

CAN YOU REDUCE THE CHANCES OF AN ELECTRICAL INJURY?

Every year, scores of Americans die from electrical injuries and electricity-related accidents. Any form of energy, when not properly controlled or harnessed, can seriously endanger whoever is using it. Here are some basic suggestions for reducing the chances of electrical injuries:

  1. Don’t touch anything electrical if your hands are wet or if you’re standing in water.
  2. Never use frayed cords.
  3. Don’t plug in anything that has a prong missing.
  4. Keep unused outlets covered and metal objects away from outlets.
  5. Never overload outlets.
  6. Never run cords under rugs or carpets.
  7. Never climb a utility pole or come into contact with a downed power line.

WHAT IF YOUR ELECTRICAL INJURY HAPPENS AT YOUR PLACE OF WORK?

Every New York employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you sustain an electrical injury at work, let an experienced personal injury lawyer help you with your claim for workers’ comp benefits. If your claim is denied, your attorney can appeal that denial.

If you’re injured by electricity away from the workplace – or if someone other than your employer is responsible for a work-related electrical injury – you may qualify to file a personal injury claim.

HOW CAN YOU SUCCEED WITH A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?

To prevail with a personal injury claim in the state of New York, the “plaintiff” (meaning the injury victim) must demonstrate that the negligent party – called the “defendant”:

  1. had the duty to act in a responsible, safe manner
  2. failed to act in a responsible, safe manner and instead was negligent
  3. directly caused the plaintiff’s injury as a result of that negligence

WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?

The statute of limitations in New York gives the injured victims of negligence three years from the date of the injury to take legal action, but if you’ve been injured by electricity, do not wait – even three weeks – to speak with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.

New York’s personal injury lawyers provide injury victims with a free first legal consultation with no obligation. You can learn where you stand legally and discuss the pros and cons of taking legal action.

If you and your attorney move forward with a personal injury claim, no attorney’s fee needs to be paid until your attorney acquires an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf.

Electrical injuries are serious injuries. If you need to be compensated for an electrical injury caused by negligence, exercise your rights and speak immediately to a good New York personal injury lawyer. That’s your right, and it’s the right thing to do.

Top Things To Avoid In After An Accident In New York

The most recent available traffic accident statistics for New York are from 2014, but in that year in this state, there were more than 29,000 traffic accidents every month, an average of 820 traffic collisions every day, and 34 crashes every hour. Traffic hasn’t improved since 2014, either.

The point is this: As Bronx car accident lawyers, we know it’s not difficult to be involved in a traffic accident in the state of New York. Everyone needs to know exactly what to do in the first moments after a traffic crash. You also need to know what mistakes to avoid after you’ve been injured in traffic by a negligent driver.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN THE AFTERMATH OF A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?

Take these steps if you’re involved in a traffic accident in the state of New York:

  • Summon medical help at once if you or anyone else has been injured. Unless you’re treated at the accident scene or taken to a hospital, have a medical exam within 24 hours. Failing to be examined is one of the mistakes you must avoid after an accident.
  • Whenever someone is injured in a traffic crash in New York, that accident must be reported to the police.

police reports

  • Unless you are unconscious or incapacitated, exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver or drivers, take photos of the accident scene and the vehicle damages, and try to identify any eyewitnesses and get their contact information.
  • Within 24 hours, inform your auto insurance company that an accident has occurred and your vehicle has been damaged. Say no more to the insurance company at this time.
  • As soon as you’ve been examined and or treated by a medical professional, contact an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and options – which may include filing a personal injury claim.

WHAT MISTAKES MUST BE AVOIDED IN THE AFTERMATH OF AN ACCIDENT?

Your health is a priority. If you file a personal injury claim and seek reimbursement for your medical expenses after an accident, a good personal injury lawyer can handle the legal side of your case, but you must be pro-active about regaining your health.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent motorist in New York, don’t make the three mistakes briefly discussed here. Making these mistakes will hurt your health – and reduce your chances of winning compensation with a personal injury claim.

MISTAKE #1: FAILING TO BE EXAMINED AFTER AN ACCIDENT

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, seek medical attention immediately. Traffic collisions are usually the kind of experience that sends adrenaline pumping through your body, and adrenaline can mask your pain. Don’t decide to just “brush it off.” See a doctor.

Some injuries are latent and difficult-to-detect. Some injury symptoms may not emerge for days or even weeks after an accident. In that time, you may develop a serious medical condition. Even if you feel perfectly fine, have a medical examination in the first 24 hours after a traffic collision.

latent injuries

A prompt medical examination not only protects your health, but if you need to seek compensation and file a personal injury claim arising from the collision, a medical exam provides some of the documentation that you’ll need as evidence.

MISTAKE #2: FAILING TO TELL THE DOCTOR EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED

Your healthcare providers cannot provide for you properly or effectively if they don’t know precisely how you suffered your injury. Tell the doctor everything that you can remember about the crash. Even small details might make a difference.

MISTAKE #3: FAILING TO FOLLOW DOCTOR’S ORDERS

When you’re treated for an injury that you’ve sustained in a traffic accident, you must adhere to the doctor’s directions and recommendations. Failing to follow your doctor’s orders can hurt your health, and it can also make it more difficult to obtain the compensation that you’ll need.

doctors orders

By avoiding these three all-too-common medical mistakes, you’ll be doing the right thing for your health, building evidence to support your personal injury claim, and putting yourself in the best position to move forward positively and constructively after your accident and injury.

WHAT ABOUT LEGAL MISTAKES?

You can make legal mistakes as well as medical mistakes after being injured in traffic, and these are also mistakes that you must avoid if you seek compensation for a personal injury or injuries.

The two most common and most serious legal mistakes that an injured victim of another driver’s negligence can make are:

  • dealing directly with an auto insurance company
  • failing to obtain a personal injury lawyer’s help promptly

If you’re not injured in a collision and all that you’ve suffered is vehicle damage, it’s usually quicker and more convenient to file a property damage claim and deal directly with an auto insurance company regarding auto repairs.

WHY DO YOU NEED THE HELP OF AN ACCIDENT LAWYER?

But if you’ve been injured, and if your health and future are potentially at risk, let a personal injury lawyer – a trained negotiator who routinely handles personal injury claims – negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

Don’t make any formal recorded or written statement to an auto insurance company regarding your accident or injury. After you’ve notified your own auto insurer that an accident has occurred, let your attorney do the talking, and refer all questions to your attorney.

car crash lawyer

Don’t take a quick settlement offer either, even if you’re under pressure and the offer is tempting. A first offer will almost inevitably be for an amount far below what your personal injury claim is actually worth. Your lawyer can almost certainly negotiate a better agreement.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN NY?

Contact an injury attorney as soon as you know that you’ve been injured in a traffic collision. Don’t think about the statute of limitations (it’s three years for New York personal injury cases). You need an attorney gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses as quickly as possible.

The injured victims of negligence in the state of New York are entitled by law to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all related damages arising from an accident and injury.

But you can’t make any medical or legal mistakes. Compensation is yours only if you can prove that you are entitled to it. You’ll need the help of an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney. If you’ve been injured by negligence in New York, that is your right.

Auto Crashes With More Than One Car

Scores of traffic accidents happen every day in New York City, and if you are injured by a negligent driver, the legal questions about fault, liability, and damages can get complicated very quickly. If more than one vehicle is involved in such a crash, it gets even more complicated. But, can a Bronx, NY car accident law firm help?

Multi-vehicle traffic collisions can be absolutely catastrophic for everyone who is involved. These accidents usually result in severe and/or permanent injuries, costly property damages, complicated personal injury claims, and in the worst-case scenario, wrongful death lawsuits.

What can happen after a traffic crash that involves more than two vehicles? Is there adequate insurance coverage for everyone who has been hurt? If you’re among the injured, how will your injury attorney manage a case with so many factors that must be considered?

WHEN AN ACCIDENT HAPPENS, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

If you are injured in a traffic accident that involves multiple vehicles anywhere in the state of New York, take these measures:

  • Call for medical help if anyone has been injured. That is the foremost priority.
  • Have a medical examination – even if you feel great – within twenty-four hours.
  • Summon the police.
  • When the police arrive, ask how and when you can get a copy of the written accident report.
  • Trade personal contact and insurance contact information with the other drivers.
  • Take photos. Try to get the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses.

A personal injury lawyer will provide plenty of help – later – but in those first moments at the crash scene, you must think about liability and compensation, and no attorney will be there to help you.

WHY IS A MEDICAL EXAM NEEDED AFTER A CRASH EVEN IF YOU FEEL FINE?

Vehicles can be replaced, but if you sustain a personal injury in a crash and your health is at risk, you can’t take chances. A prompt and complete medical exam is necessary – even if you feel fine – because:

  • If you have suffered a latent or hard-to-detect injury, and that injury is overlooked, it could swiftly – or in some cases slowly – emerge as a dangerous medical condition.
  • If you sustain a latent or hard-to-detect injury, and if you file a personal injury claim, there must be medical documentation indicating that your injury occurred in the multi-vehicle accident and not at another place or time.

tbis after crashes

Treatment and care for conditions such as traumatic brain injuries and severe spinal cord injuries can cost over a million dollars during a lifetime. You must have an attorney’s help.

WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF A “MULTI-VEHICLE” ACCIDENT?

The only thing that is not complicated about a multi-vehicle accident is the definition. It is an accident that involves three or more vehicles, three or more drivers, and usually three or more auto insurance companies.

If there are passengers in the vehicles, that means more complications. If one or more of the vehicles is a commercial vehicle, there will be even more legal complications.

rear end crashes

Most accidents involving multiple vehicles are chain-reaction crashes comprised of a series of rear-end collisions in a situation with poor visibility. Of course, the details in every case will be different, so each crash is studied to learn what happened and who should be held accountable.

WHAT QUESTIONS HAVE TO BE ANSWERED IN MULTI-VEHICLE CASES?

To learn what transpired and who was responsible, accident reconstruction specialists use math, physics, and computers to create a second-by-second account of what happened immediately prior to a multiple-vehicle accident – an account that in many cases proves who was at-fault.

In any traffic accident, but especially in multi-vehicle collisions, these questions have to be asked and answered:

  • Was any driver in the accident unlicensed or driving while intoxicated?
  • Did bad weather or poor road conditions play any role in causing the collision?
  • Was a defective vehicle or defective vehicle parts responsible for the accident?

HOW ARE PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS RESOLVED IN MULTI-VEHICLE CASES?

After an investigation determines who was at fault for a multiple-vehicle collision, your attorney can begin negotiating for the settlement amount that you are entitled to in New York as an injured victim of someone else’s negligence.

Personal injury claims in New York are usually resolved when attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant negotiate a settlement outside of the courtroom. However, cases with multiple defendants are more difficult to settle.

lawyers negotiating

If a big commercial truck is involved in a multiple-vehicle accident, more will be at stake, the case will be much more complicated, and a leasing company, a trucking company, or a freight company could be involved in the case.

HOW WILL A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ATTORNEY HELP YOU?

You will need to have a skilled negotiator advocating on your behalf. If you are injured in one of these accidents in New York, you must be advised and represented by someone who successfully handles the most complex personal injury cases.

After a healthcare provider has examined you, arrange at once to meet with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney. The attorney will discuss your rights and options and will recommend the best way to move forward – which might be by filing a personal injury claim.

attorneys in court

Your first consultation with an injury lawyer is free. There’s no obligation. If you move forward with legal action, you pay no lawyer’s fee until and unless your lawyer obtains an out-of-court settlement or a judgment in your favor from a trial jury.

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A CAR ACCIDENT LAW FIRM IN NEW YORK?

You must act promptly if you are injured by negligence in a multi-vehicle crash. The statute of limitations in New York gives you three years to take legal action, but you must not wait three years before speaking to an injury attorney. Evidence disappears. Memories can fade.

Moreover, if you are injured and you cannot work, the bills stack up fast. If you have been injured by a negligent driver in a multiple-vehicle crash, put your case in the hands of a good New York accident attorney at once. That is your right.

If you are injured by a negligent motorist, the law in the state of New York is on your side. Take your case directly to a top-rated Bronx personal injury attorney.

Handling Slip-And-Fall Injuries Sustained While Working

The National Floor Safety Institute reports that injuries resulting from slip-and-fall accidents are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in the United States. In New York winters, work-related slip-and-fall accidents due to snow and ice happen far too frequently.

Ice and snow substantially increase the risks for employees who have to work outside or drive in winter weather. What kinds of injuries are sustained in work-related slip-and-fall accidents? What can be done to reduce slip-and-fall accidents caused by snow and ice? How can a Bronx slip and fall law firm help?

HOW DOES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WORK IN NEW YORK?

What makes job-related injuries different from other injuries? If you are employed and injured on the job, you probably qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers don’t have to file a lawsuit or prove anyone was negligent to receive workers’ comp payments.

court house columns

With only the narrowest exceptions, the law in the state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all of their employees, including part-time workers and relatives who work for the employer.

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident at your job, workers’ compensation is supposed to pay for all necessary medical care and treatment. In New York, workers’ compensation also partially replaces an injured worker’s lost wages.

HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF YOUR WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS DECIDED?

If you are fully or partially disabled due to a work-related injury, and you’re away from work for over seven days, your wage replacement benefits are determined by a formula that considers your average weekly salary (for the previous year) and the severity of your temporary disability.

Two-thirds of your average weekly salary is multiplied by your temporary disability rating. If you earned $1000 a week and your disability rating is 100 percent, your weekly workers’ comp payment is about $667, but if your disability rating is 50 percent, the payment is about $333.

WHAT MAY BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS?

While you do not have to prove that your employer was negligent in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you do have to prove that you were injured at your job or in the “course and scope” of your employment.

doctor

You will probably have to have a medical exam conducted by a doctor chosen by your employer or by the workers’ compensation insurance provider to determine what treatment is necessary and for how long. You should comply with the insurance company’s reasonable requests.

In some cases, an employer – or an employer’s insurance company – may try to deny your benefits by claiming that you were not genuinely injured or that you were injured at some other time and place and away from the job.

HOW CAN A WORKPLACE INJURY LAWYER IN NEW YORK HELP?

If you need help to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, discuss your legal rights and options at once with an experienced Bronx workplace injury attorney. A workplace injury attorney can:

  • review your workers’ comp application to ensure that there are no mistakes or misunderstandings that might result in a delay or a denial of your benefit payments
  • appeal a denial of your workers’ comp benefits
  • help you seek a second opinion if you disagree with a doctor’s evaluation of your condition

IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ADEQUATE?

Slip-and-fall accidents caused by snow and ice can sometimes cause catastrophic injuries. When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury, a serious spinal cord injury, and/or multiple broken bones and contusions, that person may require a lifetime of expensive medical care.

injury from ice and snow

And while this state has one of the most generous workers’ compensation systems in the nation, if you sustain a catastrophic injury or become permanently disabled due to a slip-and-fall injury on the job, you’re going to need more than workers’ compensation will provide.

The most severe medical conditions may require life-long care, distant trips to medical facilities, special arrangements for childcare, and other unanticipated costs. However, for some injury victims, workers’ compensation benefits may not be the only compensation available to them.

HOW DOES A “THIRD-PARTY” PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM WORK?

Some injured workers in New York will qualify to pursue a third-party personal injury claim.

If you are a delivery driver and a speeding, negligent motorist injures you while you’re making deliveries, that motorist is liable. If your employer just purchased snow tires for the delivery van that you drive, those tires are defective, and you’re injured, the manufacturer may have liability.

injured worker

An experienced Bronx workplace injury attorney can review the circumstances of your workplace accident and injury to determine if a third party may have liability.

If a third party played any role in the accident that injured you, your attorney will explain how the personal injury process works and recommend the best way for you to move forward – which might include a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

HOW CAN EMPLOYERS REDUCE SNOW- AND ICE-RELATED INJURIES?

If you own a business property, you probably remove snow and ice to clear paths for employees and customers, but the physical condition of your property, and the methods you use to remove snow and ice, are critical.

Mistakes when you remove snow and ice are easy to make and may lead to injuries. Briefly, here are some tips for employers:

  • Ensure that your gutters and drains are working properly.
  • Make certain that water and slush are moved to a safe spot; water that accumulates on a sidewalk or parking area where people walk can create a dangerous ice patch.
  • Check for leaks. Retailers usually fix leaks immediately in customer areas, but less obvious leaks can be a real hazard.
  • If your plumbing hasn’t been inspected recently, have it done. A burst pipe can spill water into a location where people walk and create hazardous, slippery conditions.
  • Before the temperatures drop, insulate any exposed pipes with foam pipe sleeves, and then try to keep the room temperature above freezing.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER ABOUT WORKPLACE INJURIES?

If you’re injured in a work-related slip-and-fall accident in New York, an attorney can help, but it’s up to you to exercise your rights, pick up your phone, and make the call to an injury attorney as soon as you’ve been injured. That is your right. Your future might depend on it.

Car Crash Was Your Fault? Here’s What To Do

More than 250,000 traffic accidents are reported every year in the state of New York. That’s more than 680 accidents every day. The New York State Department of Health estimates that these traffic crashes result in more than 136,000 emergency room visits every year in this state.

New York’s injury attorneys represent the injured victims of negligent drivers, and they work to obtain monetary compensation for those victims. A Bronx car accident attorney can offer you advice about what steps to take if you are injured in a traffic crash that is the other driver’s fault.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS TO TAKE AFTER ANY TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?

Understand that even if you are momentarily distracted and you cause an accident, it is not the end of the world. If you will take the steps outlined below, you’ll be able to limit some of your expenses and some of the stress that go along with being an at-fault driver.

In the state of New York, the first steps you must take after a traffic collision are seeking medical attention and reporting the accident. Seeking medical attention is imperative. Reporting an accident is the law.

If anyone in the accident suffered $1,001 or more in property damage, all drivers must file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident form with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident. Failure to file the form can result in a driver’s license suspension.

police report after collision

If the accident injured or killed anyone, you must immediately notify the police, and an accident report must be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Leaving the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death is a Class E felony punishable with fines and/or jail time.

WHAT AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE IS REQUIRED IN NEW YORK?

New York requires drivers to have auto insurance coverage with the following minimum limits:

1. Liability coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in an accident
2. Liability coverage of $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple persons in an accident
3. Damage to another party’s property: $10,000
4. Personal injury protection (PIP coverage): $50,000

New York is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, so your medical costs and lost wages will be covered by your no-fault personal injury protection insurance, no matter how the accident happened or who was at-fault.

HOW DOES PIP INSURANCE COVERAGE WORK?

With $50,000 of PIP coverage, most persons who are injured will be able to get the medical treatment they need. You must report the accident to your insurance company and submit the appropriate claim forms within thirty days of the accident.

calling insurance company

If you are at-fault for an accident and your medical costs exceed the limits of the PIP coverage, any health insurance that you carry will pay for the additional costs. The same rule applies to anyone who may be injured by your negligence.

An injury victim may bring a personal injury claim directly against an at-fault driver in New York only under very narrow circumstances, so most at-fault drivers in New York will not be targeted with a personal injury lawsuit.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU ARE AT-FAULT FOR INJURING SOMEONE?

Nevertheless, if someone in another vehicle is injured, that person may seek compensation from you. If that happens, your auto insurance company will negotiate a settlement of the claim, and if no settlement is reached, the insurance company’s lawyers will represent you in court.

If another person’s personal injury claim against you prevails, you may be looking at higher auto insurance rates in the future. If it’s possible for you, consider purchasing additional auto insurance beyond the minimum requirements.

Otherwise, you will have to pay – “out of pocket” – any judgment against you that surpasses $25,000. However, and luckily for most New York motorists, such a situation is extremely rare in this state.

When another driver is entirely at-fault for an accident and for injuring you, that driver’s auto insurance will compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. But what happens if you were at-fault, even partially, for a traffic crash with injuries?

WHAT IS THE PURE COMPARATIVE FAULT RULE?

When both drivers share blame for a collision, New York uses the “pure comparative fault” rule. Here is how it works. In most personal injury trials arising from traffic accident cases, jurors will determine:

1. the total dollar amount of the damages that will be awarded to the plaintiff
2. the percentage of fault that belongs to each party

Under the pure comparative fault rule, the plaintiff’s damage award is reduced by the percentage of his or her fault for the accident.

phone call after car crash

For example, suppose that a jury determines that your damages (including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering) total $100,000, but jurors also determine that you are forty percent at-fault for the collision. In New York, you’ll get sixty percent, or $60,000.

WERE YOU MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT AT-FAULT FOR AN ACCIDENT?

And even if you were sixty percent at-fault, you would still be awarded $40,000. Unlike most states, New York allows injury victims to recover damages even if their share of fault for an accident exceeds fifty percent.

Even if a jury determines that you are ninety-nine percent at-fault for an accident in New York, you are still technically entitled to one percent of your total damages – but you’ll still be responsible for ninety-nine percent of the other motorist’s damages.

gavels and law books

If you are in a traffic crash that triggers a personal injury trial, New York’s judges and juries will be bound by the pure comparative negligence rule. The rule also guides auto insurance claims adjusters in New York.

HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN NYC HELP?

After any accident with injuries in New York, the smartest step that you can take is to speak at once with an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney.

You will learn where you stand legally, what your rights and options are, and how personal injury law and New York’s pure comparative fault rule will apply to your own case.

If you are hurt in a traffic crash, whether or not you were the driver at-fault, seek an attorney’s advice at once. That is your right.

Can Social Media Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

As Bronx workplace accident lawyers, we know that social media has changed the world, and it offers users a number of conveniences and advantages. Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media platforms are great ways to stay in touch with friends and family members.

Social media also allows people who are “shut in” or temporarily incapacitated to stay in touch with the rest of the world. However, if you’re stuck at home because you were injured on the job, you may need to censor yourself or stay off social media altogether. You’re about to learn why.

HOW HAVE WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS BEEN INVESTIGATED IN THE PAST?

In the past, the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage hired investigators to conduct surveillance on persons who were suspected of filing fraudulent workers’ compensation claims.

If an investigator took a photo of someone shoveling snow or playing softball, it usually meant the denial of that person’s workers’ comp claim. With the emergence of social media, it is less likely (but still possible) that an investigator will park in front of your home with a camera.

HOW ARE WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS INVESTIGATED TODAY?

Today, before driving to your residence, an insurance investigator will instead take a look at your Facebook page and your Twitter account. Frequently, investigators will find social media evidence that can create substantial doubt about someone’s workers’ compensation claim.

If you are seeking or receiving workers’ compensation benefits, posting even an innocent comment like “Today’s a great day” is something that you will absolutely have to avoid.

social media apps

Insurance investigators routinely scrutinize social media accounts for photographs, videos, comments, and anything else that might be used as evidence to deny someone’s workers’ compensation claim.

HOW AND WHY ARE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS DENIED?

Obviously, the insurance companies offering workers’ compensation coverage can save money if they don’t have to pay someone’s benefits, so if they have any reason whatsoever to suspect that your injuries are not as extensive as you claim, you will probably be targeted for investigation.

When an insurer can demonstrate that you are in fact not injured or that the injury is less serious than you’ve claimed, the insurer will deny your workers’ comp claim.

These insurance companies and their attorneys know how to twist your words and use them against you. They know how to make an innocent photo look incriminating. If they can persuasively argue that your claim is fraudulent, you could lose your workers’ comp benefits.

Privacy settings do not really help. In some cases, an insurance company lawyer can request a subpoena that allows access to protected and even deleted online content.

WHO CAN HELP YOU OBTAIN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS?

Here in New York, if you are injured on the job, and if you expect to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you should arrange as quickly as possible to meet with an experienced Bronx workplace accident attorney.

courthouse

The law in New York requires almost every employer to offer workers’ comp coverage to employees. You do not have to take legal action or prove that anyone was at fault to qualify for benefits.

If you are injured in the “course and scope” of your employment, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation payments. If you are not sure whether you’re covered, find out from your employer.

HOW WILL A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY HELP YOU?

If you are injured on the job, a workers’ comp lawyer can answer all of your questions and explain your rights, review your claim, and aggressively advocate for your workers’ compensation benefits if those benefits are terminated or denied for any reason.

A good workers’ comp lawyer will review the details in your case, review your workers’ comp claim for accuracy and completeness, and ensure that no mistakes or misunderstandings delay your benefits. When you are injured and you can’t work, you will need those payments quickly.

You will also benefit from the experience and insights that a good workers’ comp attorney will bring to your case. For example, many workers’ compensation lawyers would advise you to avoid social media entirely while your claim is pending and while you are receiving benefits.

IF YOU GO ONLINE, WHAT SHOULD YOU PRESUME?

If you go online while your workers’ compensation claim is pending or at any time while you are receiving benefit payments, you should presume that everything you do on social media is being monitored.

Avoid posting any photos of yourself. You should also avoid making any mention of your accident, your injury, or your workers’ compensation claim. No one who checks out your social media pages should even suspect that you’re injured or that you’ve made a workers’ comp claim.

phone with social media apps

If people you do not know send friend requests, be cautious. An investigator posing as a friend of a friend might be seeking evidence to use against you. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept a new social media friend request while you are seeking or receiving workers’ comp benefits.

WHAT ELSE DO INSURANCE INVESTIGATORS SCRUTINIZE?

Your own social media accounts are not your only concern. Insurance investigators and attorneys will also look at your friends’ social media accounts. That is one more good reason to stay away from social media altogether when you apply for or receive workers’ comp benefits.

You should also understand that social media has not made surveillance entirely obsolete. When you apply for or receive workers’ compensation payments, you still need to avoid doing anything that looks like – or might be misperceived or misinterpreted as – strenuous activity.

workers comp attorneys

If your claim is rejected, an experienced Bronx workplace accident attorney can appeal your case to a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge. At an appeal hearing, both sides are allowed to present evidence and testimony. In most cases, the judge’s ruling in an appeal hearing is final.

WHAT’S IT TAKE TO APPEAL A DENIAL OF WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS?

To appeal a denial of workers’ compensation benefits, you must act at once – you cannot miss the deadlines – and you must have an experienced workers’ comp lawyer handling your case, advocating aggressively on your behalf, and offering the sound advice you need.

Workers’ comp attorneys routinely handle the most complicated cases. Your attorney will know what it takes to prove that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Injured workers in New York may be unsure if they qualify for workers’ compensation or may need assistance filing a workers’ comp claim. The wise option is to seek the counsel of an experienced New York workplace accident attorney. That is your right.

Getting An Advance On An Injury Settlement – Is It Possible?

If you sustain a personal injury because another person was negligent in the state of New York, you are entitled to full reimbursement for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. But a personal injury matter often takes weeks – and sometimes takes months or longer – to resolve.

Your healthcare providers, however, may demand payment right away. If you’re seriously injured, and you can’t work, your other bills could start piling up rapidly. How can you meet your financial obligations while your personal injury case is pending? Can a Bronx car accident lawyer help?

Some personal injury victims decide to apply for and accept what’s called a “lawsuit loan.” This is a brief discussion of lawsuit loans, their pros and cons, and how they work.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING TO KNOW ABOUT LAWSUIT LOANS?

If you choose this option, you need to be careful. The interest or “fee” for a lawsuit loan can be exceedingly high.

Case Of Negligence

Lawsuit loans offer relief to the injured victims of negligence while a personal injury claim is being resolved. Speaking precisely, a lawsuit loan isn’t really a “loan.” It’s more like an advance against the compensation you expect to receive in an out-of-court settlement or a jury award.

In fact, lawsuit loans are sometimes advertised as “pre-settlement funding” or as “lawsuit cash advances.”

HOW LONG CAN IT TAKE TO RESOLVE A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?

Personal injury matters often take months to resolve, and the most complicated cases can take a year or more. Your accident attorney may be engaged with an insurance company in complex negotiations.

If your case goes to trial, the discovery phase alone can take months before any trial actually commences. All this time, if you’re unable to work, your bills keep arriving. Your financial obligations aren’t put on hold because you’ve been injured.

Obtaining a lawsuit loan based on your personal injury case is not difficult. You can find the lenders easily online, and their advertising is on television and billboards everywhere.

WILL YOUR LAWYER BE INVOLVED WITH YOUR LAWSUIT LOAN?

To qualify for a lawsuit loan, your accident attorney’s cooperation will be needed. A lender will want to review the details of your case and may even need to speak with your lawyer.

Loan based on a Personal Injury

But even discussing your case with a lender risks a violation of the attorney-client privilege, so many injury attorneys strictly advise against lawsuit loans.

Attorneys are firmly committed to a client’s confidentiality, and handing over files or discussing details of the case with an outside third party is something that attorneys strongly resist. A lawyer’s duty is to protect the client.

If your attorney cooperates, he or she must agree to ensure that the lender gets paid before you receive what’s left of your settlement or jury award, and you’ll both have to sign that agreement.

But even if your lawyer has your consent to speak with a lender, and even if your lawyer agrees to cooperate, a lawsuit loan still may not be the best idea – or even your best option. Keep reading for an explanation of how lawsuit loans work – and for a look at your other options.

HOW DO LAWSUIT LOANS WORK?

When you obtain a lawsuit loan, your personal injury compensation functions as the collateral. There is usually no credit check, and you probably won’t even have to be employed. As long as your personal injury settlement or verdict is enough to pay off the loan, it will probably be approved.

You can apply for a lawsuit loan online. After reviewing the details of your case and speaking with your accident attorney, if the lender believes that your personal injury claim will prevail, you’ll receive the loan almost immediately.

The typical lawsuit loan is for ten percent of what the lender thinks you will receive in a settlement or verdict. If the lender thinks you’ll get $50,000, the lender will probably offer to loan you $5,000.

If your claim does not prevail and a jury awards you nothing, you’ll owe the lender nothing for the lawsuit loan. This happens rarely, but it’s the risk the lender takes, and it’s the ostensible reason why the interest rate or “fee” for a lawsuit loan is so excessive.

HOW HIGH IS A LAWSUIT LOAN’S “FEE” OR INTEREST RATE?

Lawsuit loan lenders are not regulated by state or federal law, so they’re allowed to charge genuinely exorbitant rates – in some cases as much as fifty percent annually.

Personal Injury Settlement

While a lawsuit loan may give you more time to negotiate for a better settlement, the increasing amount that you’ll owe might, on the other hand, pressure you into settling your claim too soon.

WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER OPTIONS FOR QUICK CASH?

If you are injured by someone else’s negligence in the New York City area, and you seek compensation with a personal injury claim, consider these other options for immediate cash before you agree to a lawsuit loan:

1. Can any of the insurance policies pertinent to the case offer quick cash?
2. Do you qualify for any state or federal disability benefits?
3. What about a personal loan – at a better rate – from your bank or credit union?
4. Could you borrow from a friend or family member?

When your case is finally resolved, you’ll pay your lawyer’s fees and expenses. If you were seriously injured, you may have to pay medical liens. And if you took a lawsuit loan, that must be paid as well – before you see the first dollar of your compensation.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW IF YOU SEEK A LAWSUIT LOAN?

1. Find a lender offering the lowest rate. Make sure that all rates, costs, and “administrative fees” are disclosed. If you do not fully understand the interest rate and how the interest is calculated, do not move forward with the loan.

2. Avoid loan brokers. These operations charge even higher fees. Deal directly with a personal injury lawsuit loan company.

3. Don’t sign any documents until your attorney has reviewed everything and advised you regarding the loan.

4. Adhere to your lawyer’s advice. Your lawyer is advocating for you and protecting your interests – even if you don’t like the advice.

Personal Injury Lawyer

Lawsuit loans are risky. If the resolution of your case takes more than a year, you could end up paying back twice what you borrowed – or more. If you have any other option for cash while your personal injury claim is pending, take it.

WILL YOU RISK ANYTHING IF YOU TAKE LEGAL ACTION?

But you won’t need to risk anything to pursue justice. An experienced Bronx personal injury attorney can offer you a first consultation at no charge if you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence.

At that consultation, your attorney will review your case and explain where you stand legally. If you decide to take legal action, you will not pay an attorney’s fee until you receive the compensation you need and deserve.

If you’re injured by negligence in any accident in the New York City area, obtain medical treatment at once – that’s the top priority. Then speak with an aggressive advocate who will fight for your rights – an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney. Your future could depend on it.

How Police Reports Affect Car Insurance Claims

It is not difficult to get into a traffic accident in New York City. According to the NYPD, in one recent month alone – September 2018 – 18,986 traffic collisions were reported in New York City.

When the police investigate a crash, what goes into their written accident report? If you file an insurance claim, or if you have to take legal action to recover damages from a negligent driver, how much weight does the police accident report carry? Can it help you or hurt you? Can a Bronx car accident law firm help?

WHEN ARE THE POLICE NEEDED AT A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT SCENE?

Police officers in New York are usually dispatched to traffic accidents when fatalities or injuries are reported, traffic is blocked, or one or more parties involved in the collision are intoxicated, belligerent, or violent.

When you’re involved in an accident, call 911 to summon medical assistance and the police. Be as precise and as detailed as possible when you speak to the 911 dispatcher.

Police Report

If there are any injuries or fatalities, the police will secure the accident scene and investigate what happened. They will take notes, ask questions, and gather evidence at the scene. Later, the officers will review that information and create an accident report.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A WRITTEN POLICE ACCIDENT REPORT?

Typically, a written police accident report will include these details:

1. the location, date, and time of the collision
2. the injuries sustained by the passengers and drivers
3. the year, make, model and color of each vehicle involved
4. the road and weather conditions when the accident happened
5. the damage to the vehicles

Factors that potentially contributed to the accident, such as broken turn signals or wipers, may also be noted. Officers may also take photographs and interview witnesses.

WHAT ELSE MAY HAPPEN AT AN ACCIDENT SCENE?

Police officers may conduct field sobriety tests if they reasonably believe that one or more drivers in the accident were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and officers may make DUI arrests at accident scenes.

If other traffic violations contributed to the accident, tickets may be issued. The police will see that a vehicle is towed if it can’t be driven or if the driver is too injured or intoxicated to drive safely.

Car Insurance

If a police officer gives you a card, that card may have a “service number” or accident number. Hold onto it. You may be asked for that number when you request a copy of the written accident report.

In some cases, the police will need some additional answers before they can complete a report, so you may be visited again, even if you’re in the hospital.

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?

If you’re injured in an accident in or near New York City, as soon as you’ve been examined or treated, reach out at once to an experienced car accident attorney for legal advice and representation.

Your case may never go to trial, but if you’ve been injured, it’s imperative to have a good personal injury lawyer handle your injury claim.

If your health is on the line, or if you’ve sustained a catastrophic or disabling injury, you’ll need the maximum available compensation. Injury attorneys routinely handle these negotiations with insurance companies. A good injury lawyer knows what it takes to prevail on a client’s behalf.

Police Reports that Affect A Case

A written police report will typically describe the at-fault driver’s behavior leading to the accident. A diagram of how the accident happened is usually included. The report may also indicate the officer’s opinion regarding fault and liability.

Accident reports are usually available after seven or ten days. Make certain that the police explain to you how to obtain a copy.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING POLICE AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE?

Whenever you are in an accident that involves one or more other vehicles, summon the police to the scene. Don’t allow the other driver to talk you out of it. The other driver or one of that driver’s passengers could later claim to be injured – and try to blame it on you.

When you summon the police to an accident scene, they will:

1. gather the evidence to draft a written accident report
2. provide, if necessary, reliable eyewitness testimony regarding the accident scene
3. help you obtain contact and insurance information if the other driver is too injured, too intoxicated, or too hostile to be cooperative

You should also call the police if you’re in an accident because you’ve hit some kind of object or obstruction on the roadway. If the object was in the road because of another party’s negligence, you might have a claim and qualify for compensation.

If you are injured in a hit-and-run situation, call the police at once and try to write down everything that you can remember. Sometimes these drivers disappear, but they’re often apprehended – especially when their victims can get their license plate numbers.

HOW DO YOU OBTAIN AN ACCIDENT REPORT IN THE BRONX?

The paperwork that you need to make an insurance claim – or take legal action – is not comprehensive without the written accident report. Read it carefully to make sure that all of the details and facts are correct.

To obtain a written police accident report in New York City, the City’s website provides these instructions:

1. You can get reports of accidents that occurred in the last 30 days.

2. You may request a report in person or by mail. To make a request in person, go to the precinct where the accident occurred.

3. You should bring a valid form of picture identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

4. New York State provides reports of accidents that happened more than 30 days ago.

WHAT IS A CLAIMS ADJUSTER’S ROLE?

If you submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, a claims adjuster representing the company will begin investigating the accident separately from the police investigation, even if the police accident report clearly indicates which driver was at-fault.

In some cases, a claims adjuster may discover something missed by the police, but that’s rare. Usually, an adjuster’s findings will confirm and line up with what the police found.

Car Accident Lawyer

Police accident reports are powerful evidence in personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, and the police agree that the driver was negligent, your claim can probably be settled quickly.

WHAT IF THE POLICE ACCIDENT REPORT POINTS AT YOU?

But what if the police find that the at-fault driver was you? Mistakes in an accident report can be corrected, but changing a police officer’s opinion is probably an impossible task.

However, a good personal injury lawyer may be able to persuade a claims adjuster to look more closely at key aspects of the accident rather than relying exclusively on the accident report.

If you are injured in any traffic accident in or near New York City, get the help you need, and get that help right away. Put your case in the hands of an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney from the very beginning. Having a good injury attorney handle your case is your legal right.

Getting A Second Opinion After A Workplace Injury

A serious workplace injury can disrupt your life, threaten your health, and eat away at your finances. Here in New York, what should you know if you are injured on the job? What are your immediate priorities?

1. Your first priority is critical. You must seek medical attention immediately from a qualified healthcare provider.

2. Your second priority is legal. After you have been examined by a healthcare provider, you must discuss your legal rights and options with a Bronx workplace injury attorney who has substantial personal injury and workers’ compensation experience.

WHAT DOES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REQUIRE?

Under New York’s workers’ compensation regulations, most New York workers who are injured on the job will not be treated by a doctor of their own choice. Instead, those workers must be examined and treated by a healthcare provider chosen by the employer’s insurance company.

Workplace Injury

But what if you are an injured worker and you are dissatisfied with the diagnosis offered by that healthcare provider?

Will you be allowed to seek a second opinion from another healthcare provider? How will that affect your eligibility for workers comp?

When you are injured at your place of work, it is imperative to understand your rights and options so that you can obtain the best available medical treatment, the maximum available compensation, and return to work in good health as quickly as possible.

DOES WORKERS’ COMP LET YOU SEEK A SECOND DOCTOR’S OPINION?

But if you need a second doctor’s opinion regarding your injury and condition, how do you proceed under workers compensation? And how can you make sure that you – and not an insurance company – are the one choosing the doctor who is offering the second opinion?

After any job-related injury in or near New York City, discuss your rights, options, and the details of your case – immediately – with an experienced workplace injury attorney.

Under workers’ compensation, an injured worker must be seen by a doctor chosen by the employer and the workers’ comp insurance company, but if you’ve been injured at work, you have the right to see your own doctor – or another doctor that you trust – for a second opinion.

WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF SEEING YOUR OWN DOCTOR?

Your own doctor knows you and knows your medical history. If the workers’ comp doctor insists that you can go back to work, but you do not feel that you’ve fully recovered, the doctor that you choose may be able to provide a statement on your behalf.

Seek Your Own Doctor

You have the right to see your own doctor, to obtain a second opinion, and to have that second opinion considered when you seek workers’ compensation benefits in New York.

However, you’ll need the guidance of a skilled workplace injury lawyer who can ensure that if you are injured on the job, you will be treated fairly by the insurance company and by your employer.

HOW CAN A WORKPLACE INJURY LAWYER HELP YOU?

A workplace injury lawyer can see to it that your doctor’s second opinion becomes a part of the record, and if your workers’ comp benefits are cut off before you’ve fully recovered, your attorney can appeal that decision and fight for the benefits you need.

In New York, if your workers’ comp claim is denied, your attorney can request an appeal before a Workers’ Compensation Law Judge. Testimony and evidence may be presented by both sides at the appeal hearing, and the judge’s decision is usually final.

If you appeal a denial of your workers’ compensation claim, you must be represented by an injury attorney who knows what it takes to prevail with one of these appeals.

Workplace Injury Lawyer

If you need to contest a decision regarding your workers’ comp benefits, you must take action promptly.

You’ll face deadlines, and if you miss a deadline, you may be denied the benefits you need. Your attorney can ensure that you meet those deadlines and will provide the legal guidance you need.

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION (IME)?

If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits in New York, it is also imperative to understand the difference between a second opinion – from a doctor you choose – and what is called an “independent medical examination” or IME.

IMEs are not really independent. However, workers’ compensation insurance providers do have the right to request what is called an independent medical examination, purportedly to confirm the findings of the doctor who treated you for your workplace injury.

But in most cases, the real motive for requesting an IME is to look for evidence that can be used to deny, reduce, or terminate your workers’ comp benefits. In fact, the IME is one of the leading tools that insurance companies use to reduce their workers’ compensation costs.

HOW SHOULD YOU HANDLE AN IME?

If you’re asked to submit to an IME, take it seriously. Your workers’ compensation benefits could depend on it:

1. Remember that everything you say to the doctor will be noted.
2. Don’t provide any answers except to the specific questions that the doctor asks.
3. Be honest regarding your condition and limitations. Do not mislead or exaggerate.
4. Ask any questions you have. Make sure you get answers that satisfy your concerns.
5. Request copies of every form you sign or complete during the visit.

Beyond helping you to obtain the workers’ comp benefits that you are entitled to, a good workplace injury lawyer will also ensure that you get the medical services and care that you need.

ARE YOU CERTAIN THAT YOU’RE COVERED?

New York law requires nearly every New York employer to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees. Most employees are covered, but most volunteers and independent contractors are not.

Legal Rights

If you’re not sure that workers’ compensation covers you, ask your employer. If the answer doesn’t satisfy you, a workers’ compensation lawyer can explain how the law applies in your own employment circumstances.

A reputable workplace injury attorney can explain your employment rights, review your injury claim, see that you have proper medical treatment, and advocate aggressively on your behalf if your benefits are denied, reduced, or terminated for any reason.

No one wants to be injured at work, but if it happens, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and the best available medical care. Have an experienced attorney fight on your behalf. That is your right.