Seeking Workers’ Compensation? Here Are 7 Facts You Should Know.
All Western New Yorkers know that our vital roles in the workforce are what propel our great state forward every single day. Educators, construction workers, nurses, chefs, clerks, engineers, and those in all other professions provide the solid foundation upon which our society is built. As long as we work diligently and are treated fairly, we can contribute to the common good.
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Though our employers may strive to ensure that we are safe while on the job, it is always possible to have an accident. Experiencing an injury at work is hardly a stress-free event, and serious complications can occur when major injuries are sustained. When injuries received on the job prevent someone from working, seeking workers’ comp is an effective way to pay off medical bills while slowly returning to full health. If you find yourself unable to work because of an injury or illness, prepare yourself for the road to obtaining workers’ compensation by remembering these fundamental facts.
1. Your Highest Priority Is to Get Medical Attention and Take Stock of Your Injuries.
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the job site accident and inform your physician that this is a workers’ compensation case. Be certain to tell your physician that it is a work-related injury every time you seek treatment, and remind her or him to file report with the Workers’ Compensation Board and insurance company. It is vital to document your injury and the extent to which it limits your ability to work.
2. Technically Speaking, There Are Only Two Types of Injuries.
Workers’ compensation contemplates two types of injuries: schedulable injuries and non-schedulable injuries. Schedulable injuries are typically those sustained on the arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes, and ears. When you reach your maximum level of recovery from a schedulable injury, your attorney will work to ensure that you receive a scheduled loss award. Non-scheduled injuries are most often those occurring to the head, neck, and back, such as head injuries, hernias, and certain diseases. These are typically injuries from which a person suffers a permanent disability. Non-schedulable benefits are based on the employee’s permanent loss of earning capacity.
3. The Path to Receiving Workers’ Compensation Is Not Always Smooth.
Workers’ compensation in general should pay a percentage of wages as long the disability lasts, cover all medical treatment and transportation expenses related to the accident, and pay a specified amount for permanent injuries to certain body parts. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation process does not always work as expected or is not enough to protect the employee fully. In these situations, an experienced legal team can provide a worker the help he or she needs.
4. You May Be Eligible for Compensation Even If You Injured Yourself…
When an employee is injured, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim. Assuming the case meets certain basic requirements, the employee will receive weekly cash benefits and payment of medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the injury. This means an employee who was directly responsible for her or his own injury can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, in most cases the employee cannot sue his or her employer even if the employer may have been directly responsible for the injuries.
5. …But Not Every Possible Injury or Illness Is Necessarily Covered.
In order to recover workers’ compensation, a worker must have been accidentally injured while on the job in her or his position as a working employee. Additionally, the injuries must be related to the job. Even if you meet the requirements, a worker could still be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if he or she were acting inappropriately or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury, or if you were acting inappropriately while on the job.
6. Workers’ Compensation Does Not Mean That You Will Receive Your Usual Pay.
An injured employee is eligible to obtain all required medical care related to the work injury or illness. Unfortunately, you are not entitled to receiving the entire amount of your usual paycheck when you make a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, the most you can receive each week is two-thirds of your weekly wage. Sadly, it is likely to be even less than that.
7. Under Certain Circumstances, You Can Sue.
If you are injured on the job, you cannot sue your employer for compensation for those injuries. There are two major exceptions to this rule: if your injuries were the result of your employer’s intentional or egregious conduct, or if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. Even if you are legally prevented from suing your employer, you may be able to sue the responsible party if your injuries were due to a defective or toxic product, or if your injury was the fault of someone not connected in any way to your employer.
Once you have sustained an injury at work, stress and disappointment can follow. Workers’ compensation is a means for injured workers to receive the care they need in order to recover and return to work, but there are no guarantees that claims will be honored or provide substantial compensation. To ensure that the Workers’ Compensation Board provides you with benefits you deserve under New York State law, be sure to contact one of our experienced Buffalo workers compensation lawyers once you have made the decision to file a claim. You may also find benefit to downloading our workers comp guide to help you further understand the facts
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16 thoughts on “7 Tips for Workers’ Comp”
I didn’t realize that there were so many benefits of workers compensation. It makes sense that a worker would have to be accidentally injured on the job in order to recover workers compensation. My brother has been thinking about getting a job as a construction worker. It could be beneficial to him to check the coverage before accepting a potential job.
My husband was recently injured at his work site, and we are wanting to know more about worker’s compensation. It’s good to know that to receiving it is not as smooth as people make it out to be, and that it might be a good idea for us to get some legal help to ensure that everything is done right. We will look into different ones in our area to see who would be the best fit for us.
I didn’t realize that you could receive workers compensation even if you were responsible for your injury on the job site. It would probably be a good idea to talk to a workers compensation attorney to ensure that the claim you file be as well written and accurate as possible to help raise your chances of getting fair compensation. Any help would be really important to getting you back into the work force as quickly as possible.
Your advice to document the injury and how much it interferes with your ability to work would be important. Having the right documentation could give you a better chance with your workers compensation case. I’d imagine that talking to your lawyer about what you need to include when writing about your injury and anything else related to your workers compensation would probably be a good way to make sure you do it correctly.
My fiance recently got injured on the job and we are both a little fuzzy about worker’s compensation and hiring an attorney. We felt reassured to read however that weekly cash benefits will be given to us. Covering medical bills is very expensive and all the help we can get will be greatly appreciated.
A friend of mine has been considering filing for workers compensation. However, she’s unsure if she should. For the most part, it sounds like it’s worth a try since all those requirements you mentioned in the fifth point apply to her.
I really liked your tip on notifying your physician every time that you are treated for a workers compensation injury. Documentation is always really crucial when working with an insurance or attorney. Having the report filed should help ensure that your case moves along smoothly.
This article was full of a lot of useful information for me to keep in mind while I look for a lawyer for my husbands case. You mentioned that there are only two types of injuries one that has to do with arms, legs, hands, feet, etc and the other is head, neck and back. You said that Non-Schedulable benefits are based on the employees permanent loss of working. This applies to my husband which got a head injury while on the job and now has memory loss. Thank you for the information that I will take tot a lawyer.
My friend recently had to be compensated for an accident that he had at work. I liked how this article talks about all of the things that you don’t know beforehand. Before he wasn’t aware of the number of things both he and the company were responsible for but his lawyer helped him out. I would say that this is important to remember.
Great tips if you looking for Personal Injury Lawyer. I’ve suffered also the mishap of getting hurt at work, so I know the frustration of getting properly compensated. Gettin a lawyer to help out with that seems easier now.
Thanks for the tips on what to do if someone has been injured at work. My brother got hurt at work and he’s not convinced a lawyer would help him get help and make sure he gets taken care of by his employer. That is great advice and I’ll be showing him, by contacting a working compensation attorney, he could ensure that it works out better than if not working with one.
I like how you said that you could get workers compensation if you injured yourself, or if someone or something else at your job harms you. Thanks for your comment about how there are two kinds of injuries that can be covered. My friend recently got hurt at work, and she is considering accident injury attorneys to see if she can get workers comp.
I really appreciate your point about how a person may not be eligible for workers comp if they were acting under the influence of drugs. My cousin was just hurt really bad at his warehouse job, but it was due to a coworker being under the influence. Can he still be eligible if it was due to someone else’s reaction to a prescription drug?
I like your comment about how you might be eligible even if you injured yourself. My sister is quite the klutz and she really hurt her ankle the other day at work. I will make sure she talks to a workers compensation expert.
My husband has been wondering about workers’ compensation after starting his new job. That is good that it should pay a percent of the wages, and cover all medical treatment and transportation expenses related to the accident. I think my husband will be really happy to hear that. Thank you for the information!
It helped a lot when you mentioned how the worker’s comp should last as long as your disability. I can see that doing some research can help you find the best way to get the compensation you need when you get injured at work. My brother was hurt in a forklift yesterday at the warehouse where he works, so I wanted to help him get the help he needs.