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What should I do if I can't afford to hire a workers' compensation attorney?

Contingency fee basis

New York workers' compensation lawyers discuss how a contingency fee works

Once you suffer a workplace injury or develop a work-related illness, you may be faced with a heap of medical expenses. Meanwhile, you might not be able to work or earn a paycheck while you recover. While you may know that your losses can be recovered through a workers' compensation claim, you probably aren't sure exactly what to do or how the whole process works. That leaves you with only two options: pursue a claim alone and take a chance that it doesn't get denied or delayed, or hire an experienced attorney who understands how the workers' compensation system works and can guide you.

Some injured workers don't even consider seeking legal help because they don't think they can afford to hire a lawyer. Getting an attorney to handle your workers' compensation claim can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes even more. And while some law firms will charge upfront legal fees on an hourly basis for their services, Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law does not.

What is a contingency fee?

Our law firm understands the financial challenges injured workers face. We know that most of our clients can't afford to pay anything upfront for our services. That's why we operate on a contingency fee basis. In other words, if we take your case you don't have to pay us anything unless we obtain a monetary settlement or judgment on your behalf.

If we win your case, we won't bill you for our legal services. Rather, we pay for all expenses related to your case upfront. Then we receive a certain percentage of your compensation after we resolve your case. This amount is typically 10-15 percent of your award and is set by a New York State Workers' Compensation Law Judge. After we receive our fee, we will still ensure that all damages (current and future) are fully compensated, including:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost weekly wages while you're unable to work
  • Partial or permanent disability benefits if you sustained a disability

How to get started on your workers' compensation claim

To get started on your workers' compensation claim, it's important that you follow these critical steps:

  • Report your workplace injury or work-related illness to your employer/supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Fill out a C-3 form with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board.
  • See a doctor and get a proper medical evaluation/diagnosis.
  • Speak to an experienced New York workers' compensation attorney.

New York follows a "no fault" workers' compensation system, so there is no burden of proof that negligence led to your workplace injury or illness. However, your attorney will need to prove that your injury or illness happened within the scope of your employment. Sometimes, this can be difficult, especially with certain illnesses and repetitive stress injuries.

If you can't prove that your injury or illness was work-related, your benefits can be denied. That's why it's critical that you consult with the legal team at our law firm. We have a wealth of legal knowledge pertaining to New York's workers' compensation system and can fight to get you the benefits you deserve. We serve clients in the Five Burrows of NYC and across New York State. Contact us online or call us to find out how we can help you.

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