Workers’ compensation states that employees have the right to receive benefits when they are acutely injured, develop an injury or contract illnesses at the workplace. The purpose of the law is to protect employees who are injured on the job and help them return to gainful employment as soon as possible after an injury or illness.
To this end, it is beneficial – and required – that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance or provide coverage to aid any employees harmed during the course of employment.
Why You’ll Want to Pursue Workers’ Comp if Injured
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover:
- cash benefits if unable to work (or if you return to lower-paying job);
- awards for permanent injury in many cases;
- medical payments like hospital bills and prescriptions; and
- career rehabilitation if unable to return to work at the same position.
Employees may qualify as long as they were performing job duties at the time of injury. This includes things like working beyond office hours for a work function but does not include travel to and from work.
Most injuries tend to happen under obvious, clear-cut circumstances, but if you think yours might be disputable, then contact a work injury law firm in New York for a more specific evaluation.
How does workers’ comp work?
Usually, if an employee is hurt on the job, then he or she will seek immediate medical treatment, either at a hospital or with a healthcare practitioner. Employees must ensure the treating physician is approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board (except under emergency situations). It is the employee’s responsibility to alert his or her employer about the injury or illness. New York requires employees notify their employers in writing within 30 days.
Workers will complete the applicable forms to file their claims – workers must file claims within two years. The insurance company will review the case and either approve or dispute the claim. During this time, the employee is to continue with any follow-up doctor visits and follow the doctor’s orders.
Eventually, your doctor may designate you as ready to return to work. If you have lost earning capacity due to the accident but are still able to work, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability. The length of time you receive these benefits is dictated by the body part you injured and your impairment rating.
Do you need legal help from an attorney?
If you are concerned about:
- the insurance company’s approval of the workers’ compensation claim;
- the doctor’s perception of your injury – for example, if you feel more ill or injured than the doctor thinks you are; or
- if you need to file for disability benefits after serious injury, call The Disability Guys at Markhoff & Mittman, P.C.
Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. handles both workers’ compensation and disability claims in New York, so give us a call at (866) 205-2415.