How Does Your Lawyer Get Paid in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

When you’ve been hurt on the job, one of your first steps should be to notify your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim to cover medical expenses and lost income. But when you’ve suffered a job-related injury and can’t work, things get pretty tight pretty quickly. When you’re trying to put food on the table, one of the last things you want is to pay money to an attorney. So what do you do?

There’s good news—in New York, when you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you never have to pay your attorney directly for any work done on your case, whether it’s preparing and filing the application for benefits, or appearing on your behalf at meetings or hearings. The amount that your lawyer will receive is determined by the workers’ compensation and by the workers’ compensation board, and will be calculated based on the range of services provided, as well as the amount of benefits the attorney secures for you.

In workers’ compensation cases, like other personal injury lawsuits, lawyers typically charge a “contingency fee.” That means that your attorney will take a percentage of the amount recovered. The lawyer will only get paid if you actually obtain workers’ compensation benefits, and will typically receive a higher fee if you get a higher monetary award.  A customary contingency fee in New York is 10-15% of the total award or settlement.

How Does Your Workers’ Compensation Attorney Get Paid?

Experienced Queens  Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Astoria, Queens, New York Workers Compensation Attorneys

Pyrros & Serres, LLP Workers Comp, Social Security, Personal Injury Lawyers

Author: Pyrros & Serres LLP

Astoria, New York Workers Compensation Attorneys

Job-Related Injury | Occupational Illness or Disease | Repetitive Stress or Motion Injuries | Temporary or Permanent Disability | Partial or Total Disability | Workplace Trauma

If you’ve been hurt on the job in New York, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages and medical expenses. Don’t expect your employer to make it easy for you, though. The company has a vested interest in minimizing or avoiding payment workers’ compensation benefits and their workers’ compensation insurance providers will often engage in tactics to delay, deny or minimize your claim. The attorneys at Pyrros & Serres LLP can help. Read More

Proven Long Island City/Astoria Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Workers comp claims

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we take an individualized approach to every case. We take the time to learn exactly what happened in your case, and what you need to move forward. We’ll gather all relevant medical evidence and obtain evidence from all witnesses. Read More

We provide comprehensive counsel to people who have suffered any type of injury at work, including:

Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury| Burns | Fractures | Paralysis | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hearing or Vision Loss | Accidental Death |Occupational Illness

Read More

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Astoria

What if My Boss Was a Strong Trump Supporter, but I voted for Hillary (or the Other Way Around)?

Author: Bill Cafaro

What Rights Do I Have if This Causes Me a Problem at Work?

 Employees of Private Businesses:

What about the First Amendment? Can’t I say whatever I want?

Do I have Any Legal Protection at Work at All?

What Political Activity is Protected? Read More

Example: A records clerk for the Nassau County legislature was fired from his job less than four months after an election in which Republicans took control of the Legislature, and claimed that he had gone door to door for Democratic candidates, volunteered at phone banks, and distributing campaign literature.  The Legislature argued that it had let him go due to budget cuts, the fired clerk argued that the need for budget cuts arose only because the Legislature had hired three new employees—all Republican. His claim was valid Fishman v. County of Nassau, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47071, 2013 WL 1339466 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2013),

  • Absolutely not. Remember also that there will be generally little or no protection for any political activities conducted during work hours, on the employer’s premises, or using the employer’s equipment or materials; It gives you protection for what you do on your own time. Whether a simple one time statement of political affiliation at work is protected is not really clear from the law, and can probably be argued either way, but the more extensive the speech is at work, the better chance the boss will win. If the employee is wearing a campaign button for a particular candidate and the employer says to take it off, they should do it and put it back on when they leave work.

Remember – The General Rule is That There is No Free Speech Right When You Work for a Private (non-government) Employer on His Time. The law we’re talking about here provides some protection, but that protection is limited; it is by no means absolute.

Are Government Employees (Federal, State, City, County, etc.) Political Speech Rights Protected?

But here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The speech always has to be about a matter of public concern, and if it is, the employee’s right, as a citizen, to engage in the speech has to be weighed by the Court against the interests of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs, Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563 (U.S. 1968).
  • This can also cover rights of political association; and
  • In order to be protected, it must generally be on the employee’s own time, without using the employer’s premises or materials; and
  • Anything a public employee says in the course of his/her employment will not be protected. Example: If an employee of the Mayor’s Office makes any statement on the news in his/her official capacity, the Mayor can fire or discipline them for anything they say or don’t say, whether it’s true or not. Remember also that policy making and confidential employees probably can be dismissed just based on their political affiliation where the employer can show that party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the effective performance of the public office involved,  Vezzetti v. Pellegrini, 22 F.3d 483, 1994 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1994).

If you have strong political views which are very different from those of your employer, you should probably avoid any confrontation and get legal advice first as to how to best protect yourself. Call the Law Offices of William Cafaro at 212-583-7400 before you take any action like this.


Bridging the Billable vs. Non-Billable Hours Gap

practice management software

Everything you need to run a small law firm

Is your firm spending too much time on administrative tasks?

Surveys of billable vs. non-billable hours show that attorneys in small firms work about 60-66 hours a week with up to 12 hours spent on non-billable tasks. In a Lexis-Nexis survey, more than half of respondents ranked administrative and practice management tasks as the number one or two activity that consumed the majority of non-billable hours.

The Root of the Problem

An ABA Legal Technology Survey Report showed that fewer than 35 percent of smaller law firms are using any sort of legal-specific practice management software to assist with administrative tasks.

Here are four simple steps to take control of your time, improve efficiency and bridge the gap between your firm’s billable and non-billable hours.

Step 1: Use One Database 

Legal -specific practice management software is a must. However, not all software is equally efficient. You will need software that is an all-in-one solution for maximum efficiency.

Storing information in multiple databases, i.e. one for client data and case management, one for time tracking, one for billing, etc,  is inefficient, inaccurate, costly and frustrating. With an all-in-one software solution, you import client and matter details only once and then use those details where and whenever you need them.

You will sabotage your firm’s efficiency if you try to make different systems work together – puzzles are great, just not in your firm.

All-in-one practice management software handles all administrative tasks:

  • Matter management
  • Workflow control
  • Automated forms and precedents
  • Document management
  • Time recording and billing
  • Trust accounting

Once you stop duplicating data, you will be amazed at how much more you will get done, You will save about five hours per person per week on admin tasks and you will enjoy practicing law more.

Step 2: Automate document production

For most lawyers, producing correspondence of all kinds is par for the course. Obviously, the faster the better for improved time utilization and efficiency.

The quickest, easiest and most accurate method to manage correspondence and paperwork is an integrated system that merges previously captured data directly into your document, email and contract templates.

A good system will enable you to complete correspondence in minutes. Ideally, you should also be able to add your own precedents and other legal documents, so there is a standard process for all staff.
This way your benefit is twofold – better service for your clients and efficiency for your firm. It’s a win-win!

Step 3: Record All Time – Billable and Non-Billable Work!

If you’re not recording every second, you’re throwing money away. You must know how much time you are spending on a particular matter so that your fees are accurate, regardless of your fee structure. Recording time manually is inefficient, inaccurate and makes extra non-billable work. What you want is a ‘touch it once’ system where your time is recorded accurately in every instance in which you work on a matter.

The ideal system will track, record and save your billable hours on electronic timesheets automatically and enable you to:

  • Find the correct matter quickly
  • Start and stop the timer easily if you are interrupted
  • Enable you to record time, even if the matter has not yet been opened
  • Allow you to record time wherever you are, without being tied to a desktop.

Accurate time recording —only half the battle

Recording your time correctly is crucial, but a ‘client friendly’ billing process is the cherry on top.
Let’s be honest, billing is boring. Too many lawyers have manual or poor systems to record time and the tedious nature of the task means billing gets put off until the conclusion of a matter. Putting off billing until the end might seem like a good way to limit time spend on producing invoices, but it also raises risk of creating bad blood with clients over billing disputes or delays in paying the invoiced amount. Many lawyers place themselves in such a position repeatedly.

Avoid the risk:

  • Provide your client with a simple and clear costs agreement
  • Record time and disbursements diligently
  • Generate bills using the original data recorded in your system. Don’t dictate and retype!
  • Prepare invoices regularly, at least monthly, so your clients can pay in small amounts
  • Make your payment terms clear
  • Stop work if your clients don’t pay

If your firm records billable time in this way, you should expect a revenue increase of about 30%!

Step 4: Make Sure Everyone in the Firm Uses the System

The last step is the most important. Unless everyone in the firm uses the same system and tools, you will never beat inefficiency frustrations and failures. Often it takes strong leadership to push new processes because change can be daunting. Just remember, firms that don’t evolve will not be able to compete successfully.

Small law firm success is not a mystery, The truth is, the better your firm runs, the more profitable it will be and the more you will be able to pay your staff and yourself.

Increase Your Firm’s Profitability with LEAP

LEAP is an elegant, cloud-based legal matter management and accounting software solution that includes everything you need to run a small law firm. The software allows you to work more effectively so your small firm runs more efficiently and profitably.

Because LEAP is used exclusively for small law firms, all the feedback we get is from people like you. Thus, LEAP is a remarkably practical and user friendly solution for anyone working in a small law firm. For more information visit the LEAP website.

Is Google Plus on Its Way Out?

When Google created Google +, it was the linchpin for all other Google related online activities. A prime example is the fact that when you wanted to set up channels and post on You Tube, you had to have a Google + profile. Your Google + account tied your identity to the You Tube videos and in that respect also made you searchable.

However, a recent Google Blog post explains why Google + will no longer be required for other Google products. The Google VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing wrote, “When we launched Google +, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life. While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”

Going forward, to set up a You Tube account or Google Photos app, or location sharing in Hangouts, all you’ll need to have is a Google (Gmail) account. Google email accounts maintain your privacy and aren’t searchable. People who don’t want their Google + profile linked to all their other Google products will be glad to know this.

The phasing out of certain Google + connections will begin with You Tube. All you need is a Google account to create your You Tube account. Other Google + changes will roll out gradually in phases.

Google + will become a social network that organizes posts based on the type of topic and not according to a person’s profile. The Google + network will be optional rather than a prerequisite for using other Google products.

You have to wonder what this means for the future of Google + and whether it will fall away in a similar fashion to Orkut and Buzz. Time will tell the story.

Web Perseverance is a Long Island based web development and internet marketing company that stays on top of internet changes. We work hard to provide you with effective marketing and website development.


Paradigm Shift in 2015 Marketing Trends

Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing

Author: Web Perseverance, Inc.

A fresh new year begins with people taking stock of their previous year. They evaluate the best and they evaluate the worst. They observe what worked and what didn’t. Then, they plan a likely course for greater success and hope to realize their goals during the coming year. In this respect, marketing is no different.

When marketing experts at AdAge determined trends for 2015, they presented a startling revelation. Each point they touch on opens a perspective that re-delivers humanity and a sense of wholeness back into our highly technological, digital, fragmented, data driven lives. For quite a few years, data or information was king, driving the internet and people’s search for facts. However, what proved most successful in 2014 was not data. It was a shift toward emotional response and integrated approaches that stayed in touch with the customer’s journey. You see, the pendulum always swings, seeking some measure of balance.

Even B-to-B marketing comes down to individuals, not anonymous computerized, corporate entities. We all relate in similar human ways. Yet, we live in an age of data overload. Gyro executive  as quoted by AdAge says, “In a world made numb by digital noise, the only way to connect with business decision-makers is to engage with them on an emotional level.”

How do we do that? Here are some ways:

  • Less data and more emotions. To become more humanly relevant, emotions come back into play. Yes, data and information are still building blocks, but messages that convey emotion make people feel vital. In a sea of data, emotion grabs attention and makes that piece of data important.
  • Storytelling. People love a good story. GE told a story through a child’s imagination to relate what a little girl’s mother does at GE. GE also partnered with “The Tonight Show” for “Fallonventions” , featuring child inventors with creations like the EZ Moo Milk Dispenser, which makes milk easier to pour. Children’s creativity is an essential part of our humanity.

Other effective shifts in marketing involve creating B-to-B ads that reach executives on a consumer, individual level, in ways that touch on the user’s experience. Make marketing content shareable by reducing complicated topics to videos or marketing pieces that educate and appeal to human interest. This marketing approach also moves the content mainstream. Once mainstream, it flows into consumer channels.

Lastly, we need a holistic approach, combing talents at various company levels, and connecting technologies such as data management and predictive analytics. At the foundation of the holistic approach lies the goal of helping companies grasp a more meaningful understanding of its customers.

At Web Perseverance , we’ll help you put the life, the creativity — the best of what man shares with his fellow man — back into marketing.

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