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New York Worker Injury Law Blog

When does the SSA consider a person eligible for disability?

The financial toll of having a disability can be significant. When an individual is unable to work because of a mental or physical issue, it can make it difficult to make ends meet, pay bills and have money for additional expenses. A person in this position may find it necessary to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. 

The SSA holds a strict definition of disability, and many initial claims come back denied. Even if you have a genuine medical concern and are truly unable to hold gainful employment, it can be quite difficult to get the financial support you need. It may help to first understand the SSA's definition of disability and what it looks at when considering claims.

Employee classifications and underpaying hourly workers

New York employees rightfully expect their employers to treat them well and pay them fairly for the hours they've worked. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and employers could underpay their workers. Sometimes, employees may not be aware this is happening right away, but they may eventually notice that their pay is not as high as it should be. 

This is wage theft, and it happens when employers do intentional things to underpay workers to save themselves money. One common way they do this is by misclassifying employees. You are either exempt or non-exempt, and your classification determines whether you are eligible for overtime pay and minimum wage. It is in your interests to know what your classification should be and how to proceed if your employer put you in the wrong category.

Help for small business owners without workers' comp insurance

You probably never expected to face the possibility of shutting down your business. Unfortunately, New York state law does not look kindly upon business owners who do not have workers' compensation insurance. You may even be facing criminal charges on top of closing up shop, but having a firmer understanding of your situation can be helpful for minimizing potential consequences.

Like many other employers, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board might have discovered your lack of insurance because of a workplace accident. This is generally because an employee reported a related injury. You will still have to face the legal implications of not carrying workers' comp insurance even if the employee was dishonest about his or her injuries.

Congratulations, Leslie Tilles! Celebrating 30 years in law

"Of all the satisfactions practicing workers' compensation and social security disability laws, the greatest by far is when a client takes the trouble to give me a special thank-you. A birthday card, a home-made gift at Christmas-it might just be a small note of gratitude, but at those times I am reminded why, since 1991, I come to work each morning." -- Partner Leslie G. Tilles

This year, Klein Law Group partner and respected client advocate Leslie G. Tilles celebrates her 30th anniversary in the practice of law. Leslie has been licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey since 1990 and has maintained a strong focus on workers' compensation claims, including claims by Ground Zero workers.

Common car accident injuries in personal injury claims

The average person in New York might not have the financial security to deal with a serious and unexpected injury. Unfortunately, there is really no way to avoid reckless drivers when on the road. Injuries associated with car accidents can be severe, too. Here are some common injuries for which some victims file personal injury claims.

Whether mild or severe, back pain can be debilitating. Back injuries caused by car accidents can be especially problematic since they often involve spinal cord or nerve damage. Victims dealing with back injuries usually have a lot more than just pain to worry about. Many also experience reduced control and sensation in their limbs, including hands and feet. Serious spinal damage can even lead to permanent paralysis.

States consider expanding workers' compensation for COVID-19

In April, we called on New York lawmakers to expand workers' compensation protections in the wake of COVID-19. We believe workers' compensation benefits should be available to all workers who were likely exposed on the job and who subsequently become ill, or, tragically, lose their lives, regardless of whether their claim is easily defined as an accident or occupational disability. 

Now, many states are passing or considering similar changes to workers' compensation laws in light of the pandemic. According to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, several state legislatures are attempting to balance the need for increased access with economic concerns from corporations and their insurance companies.

How can you prove you are a victim of medical malpractice?

When you turn to your New York doctor for medical help, it is because you trust him or her to provide you with the appropriate support and treatment. Like many others who go to the doctor, you believe what your doctor says and adhere to the recommended treatment plan. It can be devastating when things go wrong in your treatment, resulting in addition pain and suffering. 

If your medical treatment did not go as planned, it's possible you are a victim of medical malpractice. Doctors have an obligation to provide patients with care that meets certain standards, and failing to meet those standards can result in a worsening of your medical condition. If you believe you are a victim of malpractice, it is in your interests to act quickly to seek appropriate help regarding a potential civil claim.

Staying safe while working on scaffolding

Working in the New York construction industry can come with certain risks, especially if you have to work from heights. You understand how important it is to have the equipment and training necessary to do your job as safely as reasonably possible. You have the right to expect your employer to do certain things to keep you safe, including providing equipment, support and education.

Working from heights in construction frequently means using scaffolding to get certain jobs done. This can be risky, especially when safety is not a priority on the job site. If your job requires that you work on scaffolding or you suffered an injury while working on scaffolding, it is prudent to know how to protect your interests, both now and in the future.

What do you need to get back to work after an on-the-job injury?

An on-the-job injury can leave you in pain and dealing with financial loss. If you are unable to work, you will miss income as you stay home and recover or recover in a hospital. Even a minor work-related injury can cause major complications for your New York family. This is why workers' compensation insurance exists. 

Through your employer's workers' compensation insurance, you can file a claim for certain types of benefits to help you through this difficult time. Since every injury is different, each injured worker will need different types of support. When you file a claim, it is in your interests to know what types of benefits you need to get better and move forward. This includes long-term support and help you may need when it's time to return to work.

Personal injury: New York drivers to file their own crash reports

Getting compensation for injuries after a car accident can be essential for recovery. Personal injury claims are useful for getting that compensation, which can be used for things like medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses. Successfully navigating a personal injury claim involves demonstrating the other driver's negligence or recklessness, and having a police report can be handy for doing so. However, a new rule in New York City means that some drivers will be responsible for filing their own reports.

According to the new rule, drivers have to file their own reports when they are involved in accidents in the city that only cause property damage and no injuries. Authorities say that this will improve police response times for emergencies while also quickly getting drivers on their way. Police tried out this method in March 2019 and claim that it improved emergency response times by 9%.

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