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Questions About Workers' Compensation

In New York, as well as around the country, companies are required by law to provide their employees who suffer injuries on the job with worker’s compensation insurance benefits. Workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault system and will generally cover damages from any injuries which occurred as a direct result of employment. While this system may seem straightforward, there are often numerous factors which can complicate the process and our blog answers some of the most common questions our clients frequently ask.

Frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation include:

  1. What should I do if I have been injured at work? After being injured at work, the first steps you should take are to seek medical treatment and to notify your employer, manager, or supervisor about the incident. After you seek needed medical treatment, you should file a claim for benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance claims have strict regulations and missing any of these steps can disqualify you from coverage. It is not recommended to wait as there are also time limits in place for how long an employee has to file a claim for coverage.
  2. How long do I have to file a Claim? In New York, workers typically have two years in which to file a claim. The time frame begins on the date you first discovered an injury. Missing this deadline can result in the forfeiture of your right to claim restitution. Many injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, do not have a clear date on which they began or a time where it was clear an injury had developed. The statute of limitations for these claims may use dates such as medical appointments as evidence towards the discovery of an injury.
  3. What does no-fault insurance entail? Workers’ compensation is designed as a no-fault system which means that workplace injuries are generally covered regardless of who was responsible. However, there are restrictions in place and workers may not purposely injure themselves in order to collect benefits. Similarly, there are other situations, such as being intoxicated while on the job, which may disqualify an employee from receiving benefits. In return for receiving workers’ compensation insurance, employees agree not to sue employers for injuries.
  4. What type of injuries are covered? People often incorrectly assume that only sudden and traumatic injuries are covered, such as a slip and fall accident. However, coverage extends to most injuries in the workplace such as repeated action injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Another example of a common injury is a lower back pain due to incorrect posture while sitting. Injuries which develop over time can be harder to prove in court and an experienced attorney can ensure you are treated fairly.
  5. Do I need an attorney? While you are not required to hire an attorney to represent you throughout the claims process, it often makes sense to do so. Most people will rarely deal with workers compensation claims and insurance companies will have a legal team to protect their interests. An attorney can advocate on your behalf to ensure that you are treated fairly and see that you get every penny that you deserve.

Attorneys Helping Injured Workers

If you have been injured while at work and you are not getting the claim that you deserve, Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP can help. Our New York City worker’s compensation attorneys have more than a century of collective legal experience and have won millions in settlements for our past clients. Our firm is available 24 hours a day and if you need legal help, we are only a phone call away.

Call (646) 461-4009 and schedule a free consultation to learn about how we can help with your claim.

Categories: Workers' Compensation, FAQ