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What If I Am Injured at Work?

If you suffer an injury while working in New York, or fall ill because of your job duties, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Employers generally carry workers’ comp insurance to pay for an injured employee’s medical expenses and lost wages as compensation.

All injuries that occur during the course of employment are covered by New York’s workers’ compensation law. Furthermore, the law also covers occupational diseases, which are illnesses that develop on the job.

However, injuries that occur outside the scope of your job duties, such as commuting or participating in team building/recreational work event (e.g., company picnic or holiday party), are not covered.

Common types of work-related injuries and illnesses include:

  • Head injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burns
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Electrocution
  • Hearing loss
  • Asbestosis

Medical costs are paid immediately, while cash benefits are paid to employees who are partially disabled and unable to work for more than seven (7) days in order to replace part of their lost wages. Cash benefits amount to two-thirds of your weekly average multiplied by the percentage of disability. Additionally, the loss of wage-earning capacity determines the amount of weeks that cash benefits you will receive.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board provides the following categories of disability:

  • Temporary Partial Disability – Temporary partial disability benefits are given to workers who cannot return to their full pre-injury job duties but can still perform some level of work while recovering from injury.
  • Temporary Total Disability – Temporary total disability benefits are given to those who are 100 percent disabled on a temporary basis.
  • Permanent Partial Disability – Permanent partial disability benefits are given to those who lost part of their wage-earning capacity on a permanent basis. There are two types of permanent partial disability benefits: scheduled loss-of-use (SLU) awards and non-scheduled awards. SLU awards involve the loss of use of an upper or lower extremity, or permanent blindness or deafness, while non-scheduled awards involve the loss of use injury, such as head, spine, or organ damage.
  • Permanent Total Disability – Permanent total disability benefits are given to those who suffer from permanent injuries and limitations.
  • Disfigurement – Employees who sustain serious and permanent disfigurement to the head, face, or neck may be compensated up to $20,000.

If you are injured at work, the first step to take is notifying your employer (in writing) immediately. You are required to report a workplace injury in New York within 30 days of the underlying accident or else you will lose the right to file a claim. When it comes to occupational diseases, the time limit is two years from the date when you learned of the disease.

When you report the workers’ comp claim, your employer must give you Form C-3. After you complete the form, either you or your employer must mail it to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) office to start to process of filing a work injury claim.

Your employer has ten (10) days from the date of being notified of your injury to report a workers’ comp claim on Form C-2 and send it to the WCB and the employer’s insurer. Lastly, ask your employer which doctor(s) you can see to assess, treat, and document your condition.

Whether your claim was denied, or you want to ensure you receive the maximum benefits by law, you need to hire an experienced lawyer to protect your rights and best interests. At the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C., we will maximize your entitled benefits and help you make the best possible recovery from injury.

If you or a loved one has been injured during work in Queens, contact us today at (718) 340-3385 for a free initial consultation. You don’t have to pay anything unless we win your case!