New York Work Injury Attorney
No matter how safe you think your job is, there is always a chance that you or your co-workers can get hurt at work. In 2013 alone, more than 3 million workers suffered from on the job injuries and illnesses.
Many of these injuries qualify for Workers’ Compensation.Workers’ Compensation is insurance coverage your employer is legally required to have. This insurance will help cover your medical bills and a portion of lost wages if you are hurt at work and require medical care.
What Are ‘On The Job’ Injuries?
For an injury to qualify as being work-related, it has to happen:
- While you are at work, and
- While you are doing your assigned job duties
Some of the most common workplace injuries and problems are:
- Repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Machinery malfunctions
- Falling objects
- Chemical exposure
- Motor vehicle accidents
Workers’ Compensation can cover both minor and serious health problems, from sprained joints to back injuries and heart attacks. Even some psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be covered if they happen because of issues at work.
Is Your Accident Covered Or Not?
The purpose of Workers’ Compensation is not to find someone to blame. It is about protecting you (the injured worker) and making sure you don’t suffer (both physically and financially) if you are hurt at work.
However, there are certain conditions when you are not entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. These are when:
- Your injury was self-inflicted
- You were hurt while drunk or on drugs
- You were hurt while breaking the law or company policy
- You were injured after you started a fight
Other situations are more of a gray area. For example:
- You are not usually considered to be ‘at work’ while commuting to and from work or when you are on your lunch break. However, if you stop to do a work assignment along the way, you may be covered.
- Although you are often not covered while commuting, you may be covered if you are on a business trip or if your job requires you to drive a lot.
- Claims may be denied if you are off company property. But if you are at a company retreat or work-sponsored event, you could have a case.
- Preexisting conditions are other injuries that might not be covered, unless they are made worse because of your job duties.
See exactly when your workplace accident is covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York.
Your employer has responsibilities when you are hurt at work. They are required, by New York law, to have Workers’ Compensation insurance in the event that you or a co-worker are injured at work. This insurance will protect you when you get hurt on the job and help cover your:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits, for fatal accidents
If you or a co-worker are hurt at work, your employer must take your injury seriously and properly document the facts around an accident. They must also make sure an accident investigation is carried out to help reveal the root of the problem and point toward safety improvements.
If you are hurt at work, you also have responsibilities. Most importantly, you need to get the medical care.
You also need to make sure you report your accident to your employer right away. This will be important during your Workers’ Compensation claim process. Injuries that build up over time should be reported as soon as you know or think they are related to your work.
It is also your responsibility to return to work as soon as you are healthy enough to do so. Your doctors should advise you on when it is safe for you to return to work. You might be released to your regular work duties, or to a different type of work that is safer for you.
How A Lawyer Can Help
Workers’ Compensation claims are complex and can be very stressful. When you are hurt and trying to recover from an injury, the last thing you need is added stress and worry over your workers comp claim. This is where a Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you.
Contact Our New York Work Injury Attorney
Workers’ Compensation lawyers can advise you on whether you have a Workers’ Compensation case. If you do, they will be able give you all of the advice you need, let you know what benefits you are entitled to and take the stress out of the process by handling and filing your case for you.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact us.