New Yorkers who experience a work-related injury or illness are typically entitled to workers compensation benefits. New York workers compensation benefits cover the cost of medical expenses and a portion of lost income due to time away from work as well as other expenses for permanent disabilities.
In cases of severe or long-term injury due to a workplace accident or illness, the workers comp insurance company may offer a lump sum settlement. In this blog post, we’ll review the New York workers compensation program and what to consider before agreeing to a lump sum settlement.
New York Worker Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is intended to protect workers and provides several benefits to injured New York workers who have suffered from a work-related accident or an occupational disease, regardless of fault. Medical benefits, such as payment of hospital and medical bills, as well as the loss of income during any period in which an employee is disabled. These benefits may be temporary or permanent, depending on the injury, and may include a full benefit amount or a partial benefit amount. Injured workers are entitled to the following benefits, depending on their case:
Compensation for Medical Expenses
New York workers compensation benefits cover medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitative devices, and transportation to and from medical appointments.
You can get two-thirds of the wages of your average weekly amount, up to certain maximums, if you cannot work at all or have lost some ability to work. Even if you have been seriously injured, all workers compensation claims first begin as temporary benefits. Only once those benefits have been exhausted could permanent benefits begin.
If your injury leaves you unable to ever return to work or part of your earning capacity has been diminished, you can file a claim for permanent disability which covers lost income for a longer period of time. Depending on the injury, you may also qualify for a “scheduled loss of use” lump sum benefit amount.
If a New York workplace injury results in death, the surviving members of the worker’s family or estate can file a claim for death benefits to cover funeral or memorial expenses. Surviving spouses and children are entitled to a weekly cash benefit.
New York Lump Sum Workers Comp Settlements
After you file your New York workers compensation claim and your case works its way through the process, you may be offered a lump sum settlement by the insurance company. A lump sum workers compensation settlement is typically one large financial payment made to the injured worker to cover workers compensation benefits. A lump sum settlement is offered instead of a structured settlement, where the insurance company makes benefit payments on regular intervals.
In some cases, you may be offered a lump sum settlement for one set of benefits and a structured settlement for another. For example, the insurance company may offer a lump sum to cover all past and future medical expenses but structured payments for the lost income portion of benefits. Either way, it's important to know what to consider when offered a lump sum settlement.
Should You Accept a Lump Sum Settlement Offer?
While many workers compensation claims do end in a settlement, it’s important that you have a full understanding of your options and future needs before accepting an offer. While a large sum of money may be enticing, you should think about all of your expenses and prognostic outlook before making a decision. Once you agree to a settlement offer, you cannot go back and reopen the claim even if something changes.
If you’ve been seriously injured or are dealing with a chronic illness, you may not know your medical prognosis for some time. In which case, you may not have an understanding of what the entirety of your medical expenses will be. If you accept the settlement offer, you can’t go back later for additional expenses that you weren’t expecting even if your diagnosis changes.
You may also need to consider how a workers compensation settlement could affect other programs, like Social Security Disability and Medicare. It's in your best interest to consult a New York workers compensation lawyer to discuss your options before agreeing to a settlement.
Brandon J. Broderick, New York Workers Comp Lawyers
We get it. Work accidents and illness can have an impact on your health, well-being, and finances which can cause worry, fear, and anxiety -- for you and your family. We have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our New York workers compensation attorneys believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. We’ve helped people just like you move forward. Contact us today for a free consultation.