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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

New York construction accidents highest in almost 10 years

Construction is a booming business throughout New York. Improvements in safety procedures have been successful in reducing the number of injuries and fatalities that happen on construction sites. However, there is always a lingering risk of people being hurt when doing that kind of work. The heavy equipment, working at substantial heights, large vehicles and more can put the pieces in place for there to be accidents. Statistics are important to determine where the dangers are and the latest information has some sobering news that a construction worker and his or her family should be cognizant of.

In 2018, the number of construction accidents that were reported in New York City was the highest they have been since there was a boom in construction after the recession. This can be due to a myriad of factors such as a rise in the number of accidents that are reported. But the latest information is worrisome as it was not even complete with time left in 2018. More accidents could have occurred making the numbers even worse. The last month for which there was information on the number of accidents was October. The total of accidents and injuries in 2018 had gone beyond what they were for all of 2017.

What is the labor market attachment with workers' compensation?

When a New Yorker suffers workplace injuries and is approved for workers' compensation benefits, it will cover their medical expenses, lost wages and help them as they seek to improve sufficiently to get back to work. However, since injuries and their severity can vary in many ways, so too does the amount of time the worker is expected to be out. Along with that, the workers' compensation benefits can be limited in the amount of time for which they can be received.

For workers who are getting lost-wage benefits and they are classified as partially disabled, there is the requirement that they show "labor market attachment." Understanding what this is will be key to workers' compensation claims. When a worker shows that there was a reasonable attempt to secure gainful employment that falls into his or her medical restrictions, it will be considered being attached to the labor market. When the claimant does not make a reasonable effort to get work under this requirement, it could be decided that there was a withdrawal from the labor market.

Workplace accident claims life of TV production assistant

New York is often used as a background in the entertainment industry. This means there will be filming of television programs and feature films. Many of these are prominent with well-known stars who are on location. Many behind-the-scenes workers are needed for these productions. Some of these workers are put in harm's way due to the requirements of the job. They can be working in the early morning hours, use heavy equipment, and take part in risky activities. This can lead to workplace accidents that result in injuries and death. After there has been this type of work accident, those who were impacted must remember their right to seek workers' compensation and for a family to receive death benefits.

A production assistant for the drama series "Power" died when he was hit by a vehicle as he prepared for the day's filming. The man, 63, was putting traffic cones on the street in preparation for the day. It was around 4 a.m. A 2006 Ford Explorer that was being driven by another worker on the show crashed into him. The driver, 64, stayed at the scene. The injured man was taken for treatment but was declared dead at the hospital. The investigation into the accident is ongoing and the production was shut down for the day.

Some of the common health risks truck drivers face

As a long-haul truck driver, you know all about the risks of other drivers on the road: the swerving texters, distracted moms and lost tourists that make each trip an adventure.

One thing truck drivers do not think enough about is their own personal health. While it may not be as noticeable as the tailgating SUV, it’s just as important to your long-term success as a driver. These are a few of the health issues truckers need to keep an eye on:

Volunteer firefighters can get workers' compensation benefits

In New York, especially in the upstate regions, cities and towns rely on volunteer firefighters to a significant degree. As with any task that firefighters take part in, there are fundamental dangers and they can be injured and killed during the course of their work. A question that is often asked is whether a volunteer can be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. In the case of volunteer firefighters, they are. It is important to understand what benefits are available and when.

When a volunteer company responds to a situation as a unit, the volunteers are eligible to receive benefits regardless of whether the injury came about serving the home or aiding in another location. With cash benefits, the following will be fixed: total disability, schedule loss of use, and death benefits. Depending on the injury, weekly benefits will hinge on earning capacity. The benefits will be paid from the first day in which the person is disabled and there will not be a waiting period. There will be medical care provided as necessary and there will be no consideration as to the length of the disability.

What should I know about rehabilitation through workers' comp?

A New York State worker who suffers workplace injuries or an occupational disease should know about the workers' compensation benefits that may be available to him or her. The extent of these benefits can run the gamut from people who are completely unable to work to those who will eventually recover completely and have no limitations on their abilities. Many cases fall somewhere within those parameters and it is important to understand how various factors are considered in a case. If a worker can benefit from rehabilitation, this is a key part of a workers' compensation claim.

When a worker's health or condition can improve through rehabilitation, this can be very useful and important. Through rehabilitative programs, services seek to eliminate the condition that prevents an individual working. In addition, rehabilitation programs might maximize health improvement, allow the person get back to work when he or she can, or give assistance to work and live. There are many health professionals who are on staff for the Workers' Compensation Board to help a worker. They include social workers, counselors, physical therapists, rehabilitation therapists, consultant psychiatrists, and others.

Social services help available through workers' compensation

When a New York worker suffers workplace injuries or a condition that hinders the ability to work, workers' compensation benefits are just part of the story with getting back on the right track medically, personally and professionally. Other issues will inevitably arise with lost wages and medical expenses even if the workers' compensation benefits are approved.

The Workers' Compensation Board accounts for the ancillary type of help that a person might need by providing social services. Knowing that this is available and using it can be part of a workers' compensation claim. If there are problems getting the available services, a law firm experienced in workers' compensation can help. Social workers can be of assistance in myriad ways. If there are issues at home due to financial struggles and concerns about the future, the social worker can help the family to grasp the changes that are taking place and adjust to them. Referrals can be made should the social worker not have the capability to effectively solve the relevant problems.

What classifies workers as "employees" for workers' compensation?

There are situations at certain jobs in New York in which it is not clear that a worker is classified as an "employee" and therefore eligible for workers' compensation. Oftentimes, this is linked to people working as "contractors." Knowing what factors are used to determine whether a worker is an employee under the workers' compensation law is imperative when there is an injury and the chance to get benefits is in question.

The employer's right to control over the worker is key. If the employer controls how the work is done, it is indicative that the work is done by an employee instead of a contractor. If a worker who performs the labor is in control of the time and way it is done, it might show that the person is an independent contractor. An independent contractor will work with his or her operating permit, under contract or authority. If the character of the work being done is that same as the employer and it is consistent with work done at the job, the worker can be considered an employee. If the work is different, the worker could be viewed as an independent contractor.

Worker seriously injured in forklift accident

Operating heavy machinery comes with serious responsibilities. Improper instructions or lack of training could potentially lead to a dangerous situation. An independent contractor for Sears experienced this firsthand when he was struck from behind by a forklift. The machine landed on his ankle, resulting in permanent injury.

Workers' compensation for toxic exposure

There are many jobs in New York that require workers to be around dangerous substances. When taking the job, workers will undoubtedly understand this. However, no one is expecting there to be a workplace accident and toxic exposure. The issues that can accompany this type of incident can be more problematic and worrisome than an accident where there are broken bones, cuts and other physical injuries. Hazardous materials can be terrifying when there is an accident. Those who were injured or made ill because of being exposed to hazardous materials should know they probably have the right to workers' compensation.

With toxic exposure, some cases can be difficult to maximize benefits. It can even be hard to get the workers' compensation approved at all. With toxic exposure, since the aftereffects and issues that accompany it can vary so widely, the insurer is prone to balking at paying anything more than the bare minimum. Oftentimes, the extent of the damage might not be realized for days, weeks and even months after the accident.

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