Understanding New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Lever & Ecker, PLLC June 25, 2019 General

As a general rule, people who suffer an injury in New York are entitled to compensation if they can prove that someone else’s negligence caused the accident. That process usually involves an insurance claim and the possibility of a lawsuit.

But if your accident happens on the job (or in connection with your job duties), the rules are different. To recover compensation, you’ll have to file a workers’ comp claim instead.

Workers’ comp was established to cut down on the number of legal disputes between employees and their employers.

Under the rules of New York workers’ comp, injured workers do not have to prove that their employer was negligent or at fault for the injury. In fact, injured workers are often able to recover even if the accident happened because of their own negligence.

However, the benefits available to an injured employee under workers’ comp are more limited than they would be in a conventional personal injury claim. Below, we look at the compensation available after an on-the-job injury in New York.

New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you’re like most people, there are two questions you want answered right away after a workplace accident:

  • How soon can I get better & get back to work?
  • What compensation can I get from being injured on the job?

As we will see below, the second question depends (in part) on the answer to the first… and which doctor you talk to can make all the difference.

First, let’s look at the types of compensation available under New York workers’ comp:

Medical Care

You are entitled to financial coverage for the medical care required to treat your on-the-job injury. This includes (but is not necessarily limited to) physician care, chiropractic care, surgery, and medication.

Note that, with the exception of emergency situations, the care provider must be authorized by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. Likewise, the Board may limit your medication benefits to specific pharmacies. Additionally, some medical services may require advance authorization.

Wage Replacement

If your injury keeps you out of work for more than seven days, you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages. In New York, this particular benefit is often referred to as your “cash benefits.”

The amount of your wage replacement is based on the extent of your injury and how long you miss work. It is calculated using a state-approved formula and a “percentage of disability,” which is determined by your doctor.

Wage replacement is one of the most important forms of compensation you can get from being injured on the job, but determining the right amount is a complex matter. You should talk to an experienced Manhattan & White Plains workers’ comp lawyer to make sure your cash benefits are allocated fairly.

Vocational Rehabilitation

If your injury makes it impossible for you to return to your previous job or line of work, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance may pay for you to learn a new skill, trade, or line of work. Alternatively, you may be entitled to job placement services.

Social Security Disability Benefits

If your on-the-job injury keeps you out of work for a year or more, you may be eligible to claim Social Security Disability benefits in addition to the other compensation you get from being injured on the job.

Death Benefits

If your loved one was killed in a job-related injury in New York, you and other eligible family members may be entitled to wrongful death benefits from the employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier.

Getting Maximum Compensation Under New York Workers’ Comp

Workers comp insurance carriers are like any other insurance company: they care about their own financial interests, not yours. They will actively look for ways to diminish or deny your on-the-job accident claim.

Generally speaking, in non-emergency situations, the insurance company has a right to have you examined by its own physician consultant. While the insurer may refer to these as “independent medical exams,” they are not independent. These doctors are there to protect the insurance company’s interests. Too often, people are sent back to work too soon, or denied the medical care (and other NY workers comp benefits) they deserve. An experienced Manhattan & White Plains workers’ comp lawyer can help you protect your interests and maximize your benefits.

Pursuing Compensation Outside of the Workers’ Comp System

As a general rule, if your accident happens at work (or as part of your job duties), the New York workers’ comp system will be your exclusive remedy, which means you cannot pursue a conventional personal injury claim or lawsuit.

However, there are exceptions. If your case involves a third party — or the employer’s conduct was not only negligent but egregious and/or intentional — you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Other exceptions may apply as well. Talk to a Manhattan & White Plains workers’ comp lawyer at Lever & Ecker, PLLC to make sure you understand all your options.

I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. What Compensation Can I Get from Being Injured on the Job in NY?

It is a common misconception that undocumented immigrants cannot file for workers’ comp benefits in New York. Even if you are not residing in New York as a lawful citizen of the United States, you have rights. Our office can help you, and you won’t have to pay us anything out of pocket. Call and ask us about what compensation you can get from being injured on the job.

You Don’t Get Benefits Automatically. You Must Follow the Process.

Successfully pursuing a workers’ comp claim in New York means complying with strict procedural requirements and deadlines. An important first step is giving written notice of the accident to your employer right away.

Failing to follow the process carefully could mean losing your right to workers’ comp benefits. An attorney can help.

Talk to the Manhattan & White Plains Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC.

If you’ve been injured at work and find yourself asking, “What compensation can I get from being injured on the job?” you aren’t alone. Compensation is an important part of recovery, and it is critical that you receive the benefits you need and deserve.

The Manhattan & White Plains workers’ comp lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC are here to help.

Get started with a free, confidential consultation today. We will not charge a fee for our services unless and until we get you money. Call (914) 288-9191 in White Plains or simply contact us online right away.

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