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What is workers compensation?

Work Injury Lawyer Queens, NY

No one expects to get injured at work. In fact, many companies and employees receive extensive training to prevent accidents if their job may be considered dangerous. However, no matter how hard we try or prepare, accidents in the workplace can happen. And when that workplace accident results in an injury is where workers compensation steps in. In this article, we’ll walk through what workers compensation is and give a few examples.

What is workers compensation?

The definition of workers compensation, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is “a system of insurance that reimburses an employer for damages that must be paid to an employee for injury occurring in the course of employment.” Basically, it is a benefit provided by the company you work for to pay for any damages or expense you incur as a result of getting injured at the workplace. This includes things like medical bills and the cost for prescription drugs. It also includes things such as any lost wages that occur as a result of the injury. The key element in this definition is that the injury must be considered a “workplace injury.” Let’s dive into what that means.

What is a workplace injury?

Simply put, a workplace injury is an injury that takes place on company property. It’s an injury that occurred while you were working – on “on the clock” – and if it wasn’t for the work function you were performing, may not have happened at all. So what determines a workplace? Is it just anything that happens at the physical location of the company?

A workplace is not only the physical address of the office building, but it also includes places like the company owned car, the parking lot of the building, an off-site event hosted by your employer, a business meeting at a client’s office, or even your home office if you have been approved to telecommute. Any injury that takes place in these locations, qualify for workers compensation benefits.

For example, if you are at a company holiday party held off-site at a hotel and you trip up the stairs and bust open your lip, then this should be covered under your company’s workers compensation benefits. The same is true for your home office. In a 2011 court case, the judge ruled that a woman who was injured by tripping over her dog while working from home was eligible for workers compensation.

Do you need a lawyer for a workers compensation claim?

For most workers compensation claims, the system is set up so you can file them yourself. If it is a small injury such as slipping in the breakroom and spraining your knee or straining your back from lifting heavy boxes, you shouldn’t need a lawyer as that is a pretty straightforward case. The key with filing your own claim is making sure you file it in a timely fashion. It’s much easier for insurance companies to question or deny your claim if you’ve delayed in filing it. However, if your injury is more serious, your medical bills are more expensive, or if for any reason the insurance company denies your claim, you may want to consider reaching out to a worker injury lawyer Queens, NY offers at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C.