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New York Worker Injury Law Blog

Filing a personal injury suit for a trucking accident

Tractor-trailer drivers serve an important function in New York's economy. But while these men and women transport goods all across the country, they are not always as cautious as they should be. You have probably witnessed negligent or reckless behavior by these drivers, such as speeding, eating behind the wheel or texting. If one of those drivers caused your accident, you might want to consider the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit.

To successfully pursue a personal injury suit to completion, you must demonstrate that the truck driver was at fault, which means identifying what factors were at play. While every truck accident is unique in its own right, there are several common factors you might want to look for in your own collision. Just a few of these factors include:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Equipment failure

Workers' compensation defense -- not all claims are valid

When a worker is injured on the job, he or she can apply for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. But is every claim justified? There are some New York workers who try to take advantage of this system by applying for benefits when they do not actually need them. Having a robust workers' compensation defense is essential for small business owners who are dealing with this situation.

If a worker did not notify an employer of an injury before the deadline for doing so, then he or she is not entitled to workers' comp. A worker might insist that it was impossible to inform the employer due the nature of his or her injuries, but this is not normally an acceptable excuse. Notice of an injury can not only be either written or verbal, but can also be delivered by the worker's spouse, doctor or other individuals.

Returning to work after suffering from a job-related injury

If you suffered injuries in an accident at your place of work, you know how this event can change your life. In addition to the pain you are experiencing, you may be unable to work, unable to pay your bills and unable to manage the costs associated with your accident. This is why workers' compensation benefits exist – to support employees who need help after a work accident.

The purpose of these benefits is not only to provide you with what you need to recover from your injuries but also to help you return to work eventually. There are various things you may need to do this, and this is why it is important to fight for the maximum amount of benefits available to you. With the right support and specific benefits you need, you can move forward and start putting the pieces back together after a work accident.

Crane collapses are often preventable

Those who live and work in New York are no strangers to the sight of cranes on construction sites. Cranes of all sizes can be irreplaceable tools for lifting and moving equipment and materials weighing tons that workers may otherwise have no way of getting where they need them, including onto the roofs of tall buildings.

If you or a loved one works construction, you know that, as vital as cranes are, these monster machines can be deadly when they collapse or fall. When the extended jib of a crane begins to tip or the tower starts to sway, workers may quickly lose control, and the situation can turn tragic. Crane collapses are all too common, and in many cases, they are preventable.

Distracted drivers are everywhere -- can you spot them?

Do you recognize distracted driving when you see it? Like other people in New York, you can probably pick out drivers who are texting, calling or even watching videos on their phones. Distracted drivers are not always easy to pick out, though. This is because drivers have been struggling with dangerous behaviors since long before cell phones came around.

Any activity that forces a driver to take his or her attention off the road can cause distracted driving. This includes using a cell phone of course but can also be something as minor as looking at the radio while adjusting the volume. Even other passengers, children and pets -- all of whom you may regularly travel with -- can be distractions.

Construction accidents -- forklift accident kills worker

Working in construction is a rewarding career path for many men and women in New York. However, it can also be dangerous. Construction accidents can seriously injure or kill workers, even when they are taking every possible safety precaution. These accidents are more than just stories that show up on one's news feed for an hour or so -- they involve real people whose lives and loved ones are deeply affected.

A 32-year-old father was recently killed while working at a New York construction site. At the time of the accident he was operating a forklift, using it to lower a pallet containing construction materials. In what was described as a freak accident, the forklift suddenly lurched and threw the worker out of the cabin. The forklift then fell on top of him, resulting in his death.

Do you suffer from work-related hearing loss?

Even though you knew you worked in a noisy environment, over the years, it seemed not to bother you as much. What you may not have realized right away is that the reason it doesn't bother you much anymore is that you suffer from work-related hearing loss.

You may have dismissed the fact that you need to turn up the television more often and need to have people repeat what they say to you more often. Perhaps you went in for a routine checkup and your doctor noticed that you have trouble hearing him or her and ordered some tests.

Personal injury -- understanding car accident injuries

Variables like speeding, distracted driving and even weather conditions influence the severity of a car accident. These variables can also influence victims' injuries, including the type of injury as well as the severity. Here are just a few of the serious car accident injuries that can affect virtually anyone who is involved in an accident, and may lead to personal injury claims.

Injuries to the neck are common, and most people in New York are probably already familiar with one -- whiplash. Whiplash is usually thought of as a minor injury that is nothing more than a little pain in the back of the neck, but it can actually cause significant damage to ligaments. Some whiplash victims even temporarily suffer from vocal cord paralysis. Other types of neck injuries can also occur when a victim's head and neck move suddenly.

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.

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