New York Workplace Injury Law Firm

NY Workplace & On The Job Injury FAQ





When you can’t support yourself or your family because of a work-related injury, you’re in a tough spot. This situation can be even tougher when your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier refuses to help. Let our attorneys lighten that load.

At the Law Office of Robert Koenigsberg, we provide answers, support, personal service, and more than 15 years of focused experience in workers’ compensation. If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident — we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer.

Since 1996, our attorneys have helped people throughout New York City and surrounding areas obtain workers’ compensation benefits for a wide range of injuries, including:

• Head injuries
• Burn injuries
• Amputations
Neck and back injuries
Eye and ear injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Knee, shoulder and joint injuries
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS & RSD)
• Post-traumatic stress syndrome/psychological injuries
• Occupational illnesses and diseases caused by exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances

We also provide compassionate support to families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents in connection to their work. The attorneys at our law firm can help surviving family members obtain lifetime pavements for their loss.

The Recent Changes to New York’s Workers’ Compensation Rules

Although New York’s workers’ compensation system has changed, the value of our work has not. We will carefully explain how to file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, as required under the new rules. We will also review the details of your case to understand if a settlement is possible, while always vigorously protecting your rights.

We are also skilled at identifying and pursuing third-party personal injury claims.

Contact Us for Personal Service

Throughout the legal process, our law office will be open to you. We encourage clients to ask questions and never to hesitate in expressing any concerns. As your claim moves forward, we will keep you informed of progress, potential setbacks, and your legal options.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation at our law office, which is conveniently located across the street from the Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan. We look forward to helping you recover.

Free Initial Consultations — Call 212-964-9292 Today

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Workplace Injuries FAQ

Common Truck Driver Injuries

Injuries and Illnesses Common to Truck Drivers The most obvious cause of truck driver injury is a vehicle accident. Trucking accidents are often serious due to the size and weight of the vehicles. Large trucks are prone to rollover accidents, jackknifing and brake failures. Drivers may suffer injuries such as burns, amputations, spinal injuries, neck and back injuries, and head and brain injuries. In addition to workers’ compensation, truck drivers in an accident on the job may have personal injury claims. The sedentary lifestyle of a truck driver, as well as the fatigue and stress of the job, may also lead to injury and illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Loading and unloading cargo can cause back pain, repetitive stress injuries and exposure to toxins. Chemical or diesel exposure can cause occupational diseases such as inhalation illnesses or cancer.
Common Health Care Worker Injuries
Injuries Common to Health Care Workers – The dangers of working in a hospital or other health care setting cover a broad range of issues such as: -Exposure to diseases -Exposure to dangerous chemicals -Lifting patients -Needle sticks -Blood or fluid spills -Assault by a patient -Slip-and-fall accident
Back and neck injuries and repetitive stress injuries to shoulder and joints are extremely common due to the necessity of lifting patients. Accidental needle sticks and exposure to bodily fluids can result in workers contracting dangerous illnesses such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C. Slip-and-fall accidents are notorious for causing broken bones, spinal injuries and brain injuries.
Any of these injuries and illnesses may cause you to lose work time and may require medical treatment. Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical costs and pay a percentage of your wages. In general, workers who are disabled by an injury or illness can recover an additional settlement. However, recent changes to New York workers’ comp law have made it more difficult to collect benefits in some situations. Our lawyers will discuss the details of your injury and fight for the benefits you deserve.
The Dangers of Home Health Work
The most common causes of injury and illness to home health attendants include:

  • Vehicle accident in transit to the home
  • Exposure to diseases
  • Lifting patients
  • Needle sticks
  • Blood or fluid spills
  • Assault by a patient
  • Slip-and-fall accident

Back and neck injuries and repetitive stress injuries to shoulder and joints are extremely common due to the frequency of lifting patients. Accidental needle sticks and exposure to bodily fluids can result in home attendants contracting dangerous illnesses such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C. Slip-and-fall accidents often cause broken bones, spinal injuries and brain injuries.
Vehicle accidents are the most common cause of home attendant on-the-job fatalities. People who are in car accidents or slip-and-fall accidents may be able to collect workers’ comp benefits and additional damages from a personal injury claim. If a negligent third party was responsible for your injury, you can seek compensation from it.

NYC Public School Teachers
Teachers may suffer many of the same injuries as office workers, including carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. They may also be injured in slip-and-fall accidents on school grounds. A slip-and-fall can result in broken bones, brain injuriesand injuries to the neck and back.
Exposure to toxins, asbestos, poor indoor air quality, excessive noise and other environmental problems can cause a range of dangerous occupational diseases.
One of the greatest dangers to teachers comes from their students. Teachers are at risk for violence, whether they are breaking up a fight between students or are assaulted by a student. If a weapon is involved, injuries may be catastrophic or fatal.

Causes of Office Injuries
Poor ergonomics and the repetitive nature of many office jobs lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. People who sit at desks and work at computers for most of the day can also suffer back and neck pain as well as injuries to the shoulder. Although repetitive stress injuries are not catastrophic, they may lead to a lifetime of pain or disability. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be unable to return to your job.
Other office hazards include slip-and-fall accidents, lifting injuries, exposure to excessive noise, poor indoor air quality, falling objects and exposure to chemicals. Electric shock and fires are a risk in office settings as well.
Salespeople who travel outside the office may be injured or killed in car accidents. In these instances, the injured worker may be able to collect additional damages from a negligent third party. Suffering an injury while on a sales call at another location may also entitle you to third-party damages.

On-The-Job Accidents and Injuries
People who work in industrial and warehouse jobs may be injured by exposure to toxins, excessive noise and by performing repetitive motions. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common, as are lifting injuries to knees, shoulders and joints.
Severe warehouse and industrial injuries may be caused when workers are crushed or pinned by machines or forklifts. Other workplace accidents can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries as well, including:
Brain injuries
Back, neck and spinal injuries
Burns and electric shock
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 44 percent of all workplace amputations occur in the manufacturing sector. The danger comes from using machines that have moving parts without proper safety procedures, equipment or training. Safety guards should be in place to keep workers away from moving parts. In addition, workers should wear protective equipment and should be trained on the machine’s proper use.
Defective machines and equipment failures are additional causes of injury. A negligent third party, such as an equipment manufacturer, may be liable in these cases. You may be able to collect damages from the negligent party in addition to workers’ comp benefits.

The Hazards of Cleaning Professionals
One of the biggest dangers to professional cleaners comes from the cleaning products they use. A study by the University of California, Berkeley, reports that common household cleaners give off toxic pollutants and in some cases, form secondary pollutants when mixed with ozone.
Industrial-strength cleansers and solutions may contain even higher levels of pollutants. Repeated exposure to these toxins may result in illness or injury. The following materials can harm workers if they are inhaled, ingested or come into contact with the skin:
Dust and fibers
Toxic mold
Lead and mercury
Gloves, safety goggles, dust masks and other protective clothing should be worn when handling these materials. Proper ventilation should also be in place in the areas being cleaned. Workers should be educated about the potential dangers of working with these substances and should be properly trained in safety procedures.
Injuries and illnesses caused by cleaning jobs can be disabling or deadly and may include:
Brain damage
Chronic fatigue
Repetitive stress injuries
Neck and back injuries
Skin disorders
Organ damage

On-The-Job Car Accidents
Whether you are a social worker, a sales representative, or a delivery driver, your office may be your car. Even if you don’t routinely drive for work, however, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your car accident occurred while you were performing work duties.
Our attorneys passionately represent individuals seriously injured on the job, including in car accidents during work hours. We will protect your rights to obtain workers’ compensation for lost wages and medical bills for serious injuries, such as:
Neck and back injuries
Eye and ear injuries
Knee, shoulder and joint injuries
We also provide compassionate representation to families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents that occurred while on the job. Our attorneys will seek lifetime payments for surviving spouses and their children.

On The Job Injuries: Slip and Fall
When a person suffers an on the job injury due to a slip-and-fall, the case is referred to as “premises liability.” In general terms, this means that the owner of the property (premises) can be held liable for the injury. Proving negligence in a premises liability case can be challenging, however, so you want to work with an experienced lawyer.
On the job slip-and-fall accidents can happen indoors or outside, on wet or slick surfaces, icy spots, broken steps or tiles, or because of a spill. In addition, people are often injured when they trip and fall over objects such as ripped or bunched carpet, improperly buried utility lines or objects that have fallen in their path.

Work Related Brain Injuries
Making TBIs more challenging is the fact that they are often difficult to diagnose because the effects are not always immediately apparent. Symptoms may not present until weeks or months after the accident that caused the injury. If your TBI falls into this category, you will need legal help to prove that your injury was caused by an accident.
Brain injuries and brain damage can occur in many workplace environments. Construction workers often suffer TBIs after a fall from a ladder or scaffold. Delivery people and truck drivers may have a brain injury after a car accident on the job. Any worker can hit his or her head in a slip-and-fall accident. Workers exposed to chemicals and other toxins may suffer brain damage and other occupational diseases.

Work Related Neck & Back Injuries
Because of how the new workers’ compensation statute is written, people who have suffered a back or neck injury face a greater challenge in securing benefits. New medical guidelines will be published by the state of New York within the next few months. For certain cases, there will no longer be lifetime benefits and certain non-extremity injuries will have caps. However, depending on the level of your disability, we anticipate that your benefits may last between 4 and 9 years. When the guidelines are released, our attorneys will examine and analyze these guidelines to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Depending on the number of years of worker’s comp you qualify for, we hope the new guidelines will allow us to be in a position to negotiate a settlement for you. For example, if we feel your disability entitles you to 8 years of payments, but the insurance company insists you are only entitled to 4 years, we may be able to negotiate a settlement more favorable than the one offered by the insurance company.

Repetitive Stress Injuries are not Always Physical
Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can be akin to a repetitive stress injuries. For example, if a worker is touched inappropriately in the workplace day after day over a period of weeks, that person may find himself or herself going to a psychiatrist and being treated with medications for a mental health condition. This may be a repetitive stress injury.
These cases are not easy. The workers’ compensation company will point the finger back at the victim, asking why the sexual harassment was not reported immediately. Our experience allows us to handle cases that are this complex and challenging.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In addition, carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress disorders can also qualify people forSocial Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Like workers’ comp, SSD is another system and bureaucratic process that our law firm can help you to navigate through.
Both the SSD and workers’ compensation processes can be confusing, frustrating and fraught with delays. We can help minimize these effects and be very helpful to you in terms of being able to answer your questions about what’s happening, what you can do and what to expect. We encourage you to ask questions and not to hesitate in expressing any concerns at any time.

Work Related Heart Attack or Stroke
Our attorneys know how to overcome these arguments in appropriate cases. We often work directly with medical experts to prove how a work environment caused the heart attack or stroke. We can develop compelling legal arguments connecting the level of exertion and stress from the job to a serious injury or occupational illness, such as:
Heart attack
Pulmonary lung disease
Lung injury
Occupational asthma
If you have lost a loved one to an occupational illness or accident, we will provide you with compassionate representation while protecting your rights. Our top priority is to help surviving spouses and their children obtain lifetime payments when they have lost loved ones to work-related accidents. We will also hold any negligent third partiesaccountable.

complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
RSD, also known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a nerve injury that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. It is a secondary effect resulting from a trauma, such as an accident. It causes severe pain and additional symptoms that can be debilitating.
RSD/CRPS is most often caused by trauma from a high-speed impact; although surgery can also be a cause. Vehicle accident injuries, slip-and-fall injuries, and workplace andconstruction accident injuries are all common causes of RSD.
RSD usually affects the extremities: arms, hands, legs and feet. Symptoms are often very serious and may include:
Sensitivity to touch
Severe pain
Burning sensation
Muscle spasms
Swelling and joint discomfort
Because there is no cure for RSD, the treatment is focused on alleviating pain. Living with RSD can be very difficult and may result in depression and inability to perform daily and work activities. If you or a family member suffers from RSD that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Occupational Diseases
Nearly any type of worker may be exposed to hazards in the workplace that may result in an occupational disease. Certain workers are at increased risk, however, includingtruck drivers, electricians, professional cleaners, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers, medical professionals, construction workers, auto mechanics, heavy equipment operators, installers and mechanics, printing employees and industrial workers.
Exposure to loud noise may result in loss of hearing and repetitive motions may causecarpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries. However, many occupational diseases are caused by exposure to toxins such as:
Inhalation of asbestos, chemicals, dust or fibers
Toxic mold exposure
Exposure to toxins in solvents and pesticides
Benzene and formaldehyde exposure
Exposure to heavy metals such as lead and mercury
Diesel exposure
The results of toxic exposure can be catastrophic or fatal. They can cause devastating illness that may leave the worker disabled. Some of the most common occupational diseases include:
Brain damage
Chronic fatigue
Repetitive stress injuries
Skin disorders
Organ damage
Lung disease

Asbestos Illnesses
Asbestos is a fire-retardant material that was used in the manufacture of building materials, textiles, insulation, tiles, sealants, brake linings, cement pipes, shingles and many additional products. Because it is no longer permitted for use in the U.S., the majority of workers who come into contact with asbestos are those who work in the demolition of existing materials.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry who are exposed to asbestos. They report that construction and demolition workers have the highest risk for exposure. Usually, asbestos dust is accidentally inhaled, although fibers may also be ingested.
Asbestos-related illness include:
Lung cancer
Laryngeal cancer
Gastrointestinal cancer
Lung disease
Some of these illnesses, such as mesothelioma and other cancers, do not present until many years after the worker is exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, by the time cancer is detected, it is often too advanced to respond to treatment.

Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions
A pre-existing condition will not prevent you from getting workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is possible that the workers’ compensation insurance company may think otherwise. Your claim may be denied. With the assistance of an experienced attorney from the Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Offices, you can get the benefits you need.