If you’ve been hurt at work, you may face significant medical expenses and lost income while you recover. New York workers can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits when injured in a work-related accident. Workers’ compensation benefits provide compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, workers’ compensation provides death benefits for surviving family members when a worker dies in a fatal workplace accident.
Are you a Nassau County or Suffolk County resident who is temporarily or permanently unable to return to work because of a workplace injury? The workers’ compensation attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC can help you pursue the benefits you need and deserve. Contact Dell & Dean, PLLC to schedule a free case evaluation.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Businesses that operate in New York state are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for all of their employees. Part-time employees and family members employed by the company must be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are available to workers injured at work or while working for their employer, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that caused the injury.
Proving Your Injury is Job-related
For a worker’s injury to be eligible for coverage through workers’ compensation, it needs to be a job-related injury. The injury must have occurred while the worker was doing something on behalf of his or her employer. For example, the injury may have occurred while the worker was working at his or her regular job site, traveling to another job site, or attending a company-sponsored event. Workers’ compensation covers the following categories of work-related injuries:
- Injuries from accidents
- Worsening of a pre-existing condition
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Occupational disease caused by exposure to workplace hazards
- Stress-related mental health conditions
What to Do Immediately After Being Injured at Work
The steps you take after being injured at work can help or hurt your claim for workers’ compensation. If you can safely do so, take pictures or videos of the accident scene with your cell phone to show what caused the incident. You should call 911 and ask for an ambulance to take you to an on-site clinic or a hospital. You will need to report the incident to your employer immediately and should do so verbally, in writing, or via email. You need to document the incident and your injury.
Being able to prove that you notified your employer is an important part of recovering benefits. Avoid speaking with insurance representatives. An attorney can help you provide an accurate statement that protects your rights.
What Types of Benefits Are Available to Injured Workers?
Workers’ compensation benefits allow injured workers to recover some of their economic losses after a workplace injury. Workers can obtain compensation for their medical treatment and lost income due to their injuries. When workers have been temporarily or permanently disabled because of their injuries, they can recover ongoing compensation for their lost income. When a worker dies from his or her injuries, family members can pursue survivor benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the employee’s injuries. The ambulance trip, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, rehabilitation, medical devices, and transportation to and from doctor’s appointments are covered. However, workers cannot go to the doctor of their choice or determine their best course of treatment. Besides going to the emergency room immediately after the accident, workers must obtain medical care from a pre-approved physician.
Workers are also entitled to indemnity benefits, also called lost wages. When a worker has to miss over seven days at work due to his or her injuries, loss of income benefits will be provided. Additionally, wage replacement benefits are available when workers have to work fewer hours or perform different responsibilities. Generally, workers are entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wage before they are injured, multiplied by the workers’ percentage of disability. The more serious the injury, the higher the percentage of disability.
Surviving family members whose loved ones died due to a job-related injury or illness can recover survivor benefits. Survivor benefits include money for burial and funeral expenses and the loss of their loved one’s financial support. Surviving family members can cover up to two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage.
The Benefits of Discussing Your Workers’ Compensation Case with an Attorney
Discussing your case with an experienced attorney can help you decide whether pursuing a claim for benefits is your best option. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit could be your case’s more strategic action. Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover all of the damages you may have suffered, such as pain and suffering. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit could allow you to recover non-economic damages.
If you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. However, you may still be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits and bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party that isn’t your employer. For example, suppose a worker was injured by a drunk driver while making deliveries on behalf of their employer. He or she may be eligible to obtain benefits and pursue a lawsuit against the third-party driver who caused the accident.
Reach Out to an Experienced Long Island Workers’ Compensation Attorney
At Dell & Dean, PLLC, we understand how stressful and challenging it can be to recover from a workplace injury while being unable to earn an income due to your injuries. We have helped thousands of clients like you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they need. We will handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on healing and getting through daily tasks. Contact Dell & Dean, PLLC to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.
Dell & Dean, PLLC handles workers’ compensation claims throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island as well as the boroughs of New York City, and the surrounding areas.