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How to Handle a Construction Accident

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About 1 in 10 construction site workers are injured every single year. Often times, this may result in lifelong pain and prevent you from continuing your trade. It is important that all construction workers are aware of the steps they need to take should they find themselves injured on a construction site.

Step 1: Seek Medical Attention

No matter how big or small you think your injury is, it is important to seek the proper medical attention immediately after the accident. Do not try to be a hero and wait until after your shift. If you are in pain, seek medical assistance or call 9-1-1 immediately.

Step 2: Preserve Evidence

Once your medical issues are resolved and documented, begin to compile your evidence of the incident. This includes documenting the names of all those involved and any bystanders that may have witnessed the accident. Make sure to take photos or videos of the site where the accident occurred. If you are too injured to go back to the site yourself, have someone else at the site take the photos for you.

Step 3: Notify Your Supervisor

Next, make sure your immediate supervisor knows about the incident. This will help them take the necessary precautions to make sure no other workers are injured on site.

Step Four: File Necessary Reports

If three or more workers are involved and hospitalized, the employer needs to report the incident to OSHA within 8 hours of the accident. They should be prepared to provide the business name, names of the employees affected, the location and time of incident, a brief description of the incident and a contact person with their phone number. Do not assume your employer filed out the report, contact them after the incident to make sure it is filled out. Call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742, or report the accident online at the https://www.osha.gov/report.html.

Personally, you should report the accident to your company’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. While workers’ compensation insurance helps to protect employers from potential lawsuits, it is still possible for an injured employee to bring suit against the employer.

Step Five: Hire a Firm That Works Hard For Hard Working Workers

Through all steps, it is important that you receive the proper guidance and support. Whether you are unsure if you need additional evidence or are ready to start your claim contact us to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

We are here to help every step of the way. Call 716-854-1446 to speak with one of the attorneys at Losi & Gangi.

What Happens To My Privacy In A Workers Compensation Case?

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4 things to know about your privacy rights 

Before working with us on your workers comp case, it is important to know exactly what you are getting into. Workers Compensation Cases are stressful enough so to add an element of surprise isn’t the ideal scenario. Let’s make sure that you understand your privacy rights during a workers compensation case 

Your records are private & should remain that way

In NY, your records are private documents. Only the parties to a claim, the employer, employer’s attorney and the employer’s workers compensation insurer and its attorney may receive information from that claim’s case file. 

Your social media could be used against you

A big red flag to be aware of is that in some cases, investigators’ will request passwords to your private social media accounts. If you refuse, they may be able to subpoena your passwords. Be conscious of what you are posting on Facebook and other platforms after you are injured at work. It may be used against you to make it look like the injury was pre-existing or that the injury was extremely minor. 

Signing a confidentiality agreement may not be the best choice

There are times that the employer may want the injured worker to keep the amount and terms confidential. Initially, this may not seem like a big deal to you. Yet depending on how you receive the money, signing an agreement could cause your settlement to be taxed. This could make your settlement significantly smaller than originally intended. 

The Privacy Rule isn’t Perfect

“The Privacy Rule recognizes the legitimate need of insurers and other entities involved in the workers’ compensation systems to have access to individuals’ health information as authorized by State or other law.” This rule holds violators accountable, with civil and criminal penalties and ultimately limits the release of information to the minimum needed for the purpose of the disclosure. While this may sound great, keep in mind that “minimum needed” leaves room for discussion. Since this is a very subjective term, the “minimum” could end up being more information than you had originally intended.

No Worker’s Compensation Case is the same. You may experience one or all of these during your case so it is important to have a basic understanding of the issues at hand.

In order to make sure you know how to protect your privacy, give us a call at 716-854-1446.

Article adapted from:

New York State Workers’ Compensation Board & U.S Department of Health and Human Services

2017 New York State Workers’ Compensation Changes

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On April 10th, 2017, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature made changes to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law. The law suggests several changes affecting injured workers since the enactment of the NYS Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2007.

The first change involves injured workers looking for work. This change reports that injured workers diagnosed with permanent partial disability (PPD) are no longer required to prove they were looking for work. This new change eases the stress of injured workers and eliminates the risk of losing lost income benefits.

A second change to the law affects first responders. First responders who suffer mental injuries on the job are now entitled to secure Workers’ Compensation benefits. Previously, first responders who suffered mental injuries were not entitled to WC benefits because their stress was not distinct in comparison to other first responders.

A third change involves permanency of injuries. Injured workers who have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) are entitled to start collecting lost income benefits once permanent injury is classified.

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices with concerns regarding the new changes to the New York Workers’ Compensation Law.

LOSI & GANGI ADDS THREE ATTORNEYS

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Buffalo, NY – Lost & Gangi, a Buffalo-based workers compensation and personal injury law firm has added three new associate attorney to the firm’s workers’ compensation practice. The announcement was made by Jeffrey D. Gangi, managing partner for Lost & Gangi. The new attorneys include Philip Scaffidi, Bryan Brooks and David Derrico.

Philip Scaffidi has been practicing law since his admission to the New York State Bar in 1996. A graduate of the University of Rochester where he earned a B.A. in economics, he obtained his law degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Scaffidi has focused his legal work on representing injured workers. Mr. Scaffidi is a member of the Injured Workers’ Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. He is also a member of the Bar Association of Erie County where he served as Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Committee. He has been recognized in Buffalo Business First’s “Who’s Who in Law” and was recently honored by the Center for Elder Law and Justice with their “Attorney Excellence Award” for his work assisting refugees with worker’s compensation claims.

Bryan Brooks is a 1999 graduate of SUNY Fredonia where he earned a BA degree in history and political science. He attended the University of Dayton School of Law and graduated in 2003. After practicing law in Washington State, Brooks relocated to New York and was admitted to the bar in 2005. Mr. Brooks has been practicing workers’ compensation law exclusively since 2007. He joined Losi & Gangi in September, 2017 to focus his practice exclusively on the protection of the rights of injured workers in Western New York.

David Derrico, a Buffalo native, earned his undergraduate degree from SUNY Buffalo in 1990 and his juris doctor from the University of Pittsburg School of Law in 1993. He has been admitted to practice law in New York, Washington State, the District of Columbia, and in Illinois. Derrico began his legal career representing individuals facing a wide range of criminal matters as an Assistant Public Defender. His practice has also included work in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies, and during the foreclosure crisis he worked as an attorney for the Western New York Law Center representing homeowners struggling with the gravity of a pending foreclosure. More recently he began representing carriers in workers’ compensation matters prior to joining Losi & Gangi. His practice will now focus on representing injured workers and helping these individuals navigate workers’ compensation law.

About Lost & Gangi

Lost & Gangi is a leading workers’ compensation and personal injury law firm representing clients during all stages of a workers compensation of personal injury case. The firm employs 10 attorneys.

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