When an accident occurs at work and results in an injury, you presume your employer has workers' compensation insurance that will pay for all expenses related to your injuries, such as medical bills and lost wages. This is generally the case, as workers' compensation is a no-fault system in New York, which means a worker will receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If someone receives workers' compensation benefits after filing a claim, that employee is typically prohibited from suing their employee separately over the claim. There are exceptions, nonetheless, in which an employee can bring forth a lawsuit related to the injury or work-related illness.
Depending on the injury and circumstances, an injured employee may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages that exceed coverage provided by workers' compensation. This could include compensation for non-economic losses related to pain and suffering or even punitive damages.
Knowing the difference can be difficult for someone not knowledgeable in the laws governing workers' compensation. If you are unsure about the work injury you have suffered and what you should do, speak to a New York workers' compensation lawyer. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we value genuine, straightforward communication with our clients. We are skilled and have the experience necessary to obtain the best result possible, as you concentrate on rehabilitation.
If you hire a workers' compensation lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, we do not require an upfront payment. Our New York injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that we are only paid if we win your case. If you have questions, do not hesitate to give us a call. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients.
What Is Covered Under a New York Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Nearly every employer in New York is required to carry workers' compensation insurance, outside of a few exceptions. When employees are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness, workers' comp coverage will pay for medical expenses and lost wages.
Because of workers' compensation, companies are shielded from the risk of lawsuits and employees are guaranteed compensation in the event of a workplace injury. Therefore, you give up the right to sue your employer if you apply for workers' compensation benefits following an accident. Regardless of who caused your injury, you'll have a simpler time collecting compensation. Furthermore, you can, in fact, receive workers' compensation benefits even if you were to blame for your injuries.
However, workers' comp does have a few limitations you should know about and you have to follow the rules of the insurer to receive your benefits. If you are injured, you cannot choose your own doctor. Instead, you will need to choose a medical professional who has been pre-approved. Also, workers' comp only covers the following:
- Medical bills
- 2/3 of your average salary each week, with a maximum of $1,125.46
Under workers' comp, you will not be able to recover damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress, which are referred to as non-economic damages.
Getting the compensation you deserve can be challenging. Don't be afraid to work with us at Brandon J. Broderick, our team of employment law attorneys can help you fight your legal rights.
Why risk losing out on compensation? Contact us today for a free consultation
Other Workers' Compensation Benefits
In some cases, there may be additional workers' compensation benefits available, such as the following:
The surviving spouse, children, and other dependents (as specified by law) may be eligible for death benefits if an employee dies as a result of a work-related illness or accident. The dependents may be eligible for weekly pay, as well as funeral expenses.
When the deceased has no heirs, their estate may be entitled to a lump-sum of $50,000.
An employee who has become disabled due to a workplace accident might potentially get support from a rehabilitation program(s). These rehab programs are in place to assist an injured employee in returning to their job, or adjusting to the limitations placed on their daily activities by the work-related disability.
- vocational rehab
- selective placement
- medical rehab
- social services
Participating in these treatments are not required in most cases.
An employee may be eligible for disability payments if a work-related illness or injury renders them permanently handicapped. The duration of a worker's total disability payments is not capped.
Depending on the type of injury and the severity of the condition, employees who are partially disabled receive monetary compensation. However, these payments will stop when Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is reached. MMI means that a medical professional has declared that your work-related illness or injury has improved as much as it ever will, and no matter how much more treatment you receive, there will be no further improvement in your condition.
Who is Eligible for Workers' Compensation Benefits?
Workers' compensation is not available to everyone who works in New York. Police officers and other federal or municipal employees, for instance, are not covered by state workers' compensation statutes. Additionally, independent contractors are not covered by workers' compensation.
If you work for a company and are protected by its workers' compensation insurance, you are allowed to collect workers' compensation benefits. Once you collect these benefits, you forfeit the right to sue the employer. In essence, workers' compensation was established to safeguard businesses from legal action while maintaining a degree of coverage for injured workers.
If you are an independent contractor, you are not protected by workers' compensation. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you were injured in the workplace or while working for the company, as a result of another party's negligence.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in a Workplace Injury?
In some cases, the benefits you receive as part of workers' compensation may not be enough or exceed the limitations of the program. If a third party (that is not your employer) – the owner of the property, for example – was at-fault, due to negligence on their part, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. There are also specific situations in which you can file a lawsuit against your employer. In both of these scenarios, you can file a lawsuit in the following situations:
- Intentional Acts By Your Employer: If your employer acted intentionally with the purpose of hurting you, you can potentially sue them. Examples of this could be the removal of a safety precaution from workplace equipment or taking shortcuts to save money. In these cases, you have the right to sue, as a result of their flagrant and deliberate negligence. The key to success in this situation is to prove the act was intentional.
- Employer Doesn't Have Workers’ Comp Insurance: Employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees in the state of New York. This includes both part- and full-time employees. If an employer doesn't have workers' comp insurance, you may be able to sue the employer for compensation if you sustain a work-related illness or injury. An employer who doesn't carry workers' comp could be subject to stiff fines and penalties as well.
- Filing a Claim Against a Third Party: In some circumstances, you could also be eligible to file a lawsuit against a party other than your employer who contributed to your injuries. Accidents involving vehicles are typical instances of third-party lawsuits, in addition to workers' compensation claims. For instance, let's say that the faulty brakes on your company car are to blame for your injury. In that situation, in addition to submitting a workers' compensation claim, you might also be entitled to sue the brakes' manufacturer. Property owners, general contractors, or others can be considered other third parties.
After suffering a work-related injury, you have the legal right to file a claim for benefits.If you are unsure or find anything in the process difficult, you can hire a skilled workers' compensation attorney that can greatly increase your chances of success.
Serious Workplace Injuries or Illnesses
Suffering a workplace injury or illness can affect a worker in a number of ways. A single workplace accident can leave a worker with one severe injury or a number of different ailments. Although every accident may have long-term effects, some of the more common injuries include:
- brain damage
- Sprained neck
- spinal cord damage
- multiple fractures
- internal injuries
- amputation or loss of limb(s)
- illness from toxic substances or chemicals
Recovery is also made more challenging by the fact that these accidents frequently come with high medical costs and lost wages for the injured worker. Additionally, a worker's potential to work can be lost, which might dramatically lower their lifetime earnings.
Filing Your Workers' Compensation Claim for Benefits
Getting the medical attention required to address your illness or injury is the first thing to do after suffering a job injury. From here, it's advised that you seek the opinion of and consult a workers' compensation attorney. This will help you determine the next steps. You may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ comp claim. Speaking with the legal team at Brandon J. Broderick will give you a bit more insight into your potential options and what is best for you now and in the future.
If workers' comp is the route you are going to take, you will need to inform your supervisor about the injury. Your employer also must be notified in writing of the specifics of the injury even after informing the supervisor. There is a 30-day deadline to complete this, but consult with a lawyer if you are unsure about what to submit.
What Responsibilities Does Your Doctor and Employer Have?
The doctor who treated you after the accident must complete a preliminary medical report within 48 hours of the accident. This report will include your injuries or illnesses and any potential treatments that may be required. This is called the Form Doctor's Initial Report (C-4).
This C-4 report will be given to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, as well as the employer or its insurer. The employer is also required to notify the Board and its insurer of the workplace injury within ten days of receiving a notice of the accident.
The employer's insurance company will speak with you about your claim after the aforementioned has been completed. The insurer must specifically give you a written explanation of your legal rights under New York state law, which must be done within 14 days after receiving the employer's report or, if earlier, with the first payment check.
After receiving the employer's report, the insurer must start making benefit payments within 18 days. The insurer also needs to inform the Board that payments have started, or if not, why they have been delayed or denied.
How Our Team of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
Immediately following an accident, you will have many questions that need answers. We agree that this is important, but you must understand how vital it is that you receive medical attention. It is important to your long-term health, as well as the strength of your case. If you delay medical care, this could potentially put your case in jeopardy.
You will require knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible. It is our goal as your attorney to protect your rights and give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. Our New York work injury lawyers put your immediate needs first, so you can put all of your focus into recovery from the moment you hire us.
Our personal injury firm has the experience to take on such cases and will work with insurance companies for a settlement our clients deserve.
Because they are confident in our abilities to assist them get back on their feet, clients in New York choose our attorneys. Here's why:
- We are skilled negotiators and litigators.
- Our legal staff handles all aspects of workers' compensation, including claims for wrongful termination, permanent disability, and denied claims.
- We provide free consultations to help potential clients understand their rights and have real expectations about their case.
We serve all areas throughout the state of New York, with office locations in various cities.
Speak with Our Legal Team in New York Today. We Are Available 24/7
Do you need legal help with your workers' compensation claim? Never go into a legal situation blind. We are here to help and are certain that our team of attorneys have the skills necessary to ensure a successful outcome. You won't have to face this scenario alone because we will oversee the entirety of your case. Our objective is to get you the compensation you need and are legally entitled to so you can get back to real life.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, now for a free consultation. We will discuss your New York workers' compensation claim and determine which steps to take.