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Brooklyn Workers' Compensation

Under New York law workers' compensation insurance provides benefits to workers who become ill, are injured, or die in the course of employment. In many cases workplace injuries occur due to a slip and fall accident while at work, being hit by flying debris in a construction accident, or in an auto accident that occurs while on the job. However, to be eligible for workers' compensation benefits it is not necessary that the injury was caused by a sudden accident. Some workplace injuries are caused by repeated physical motions such as a back injury from repeatedly lifting heavy boxes, or a respiratory condition from inhaling airborne chemicals over a period of time. However, it is required that the injury occur at work or that the injured be work related. If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer because you or a family member suffered a serious injury in the course of employment, you may be entitled to compensation. Immediately contact an experienced Brooklyn workers' compensation lawyer who will review the details of your case and help you receive the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled.

New York workers' compensation law

Under New York's workers' compensation laws most employees will be entitled to benefits if there are injured while working. The benefits include cash payments, medical benefits and death benefits. However, the injury must have incurred while the employee was on the job, the employee must be a covered employee, and the employer must be subject to New York's worker's compensation laws.

  • Injury must be while on the job. It is not necessary that the injury occurred on the actual premises of your employer. The law requires only that the injury occur in the course of employment. In other words, you must have been working when the injury occurred. For example, if you were injured while you were at a business meeting at your client's office, the injury would have occurred while in the course of employment. If you are a delivery driver and you were injured in a car accident while you were driving from one delivery to another, then the injury would have occurred while in the course of employment. On the other hand, if you are driving on the way from your house to work and you are injured in an accident, that accident would not likely be covered by workers' compensation.
  • Covered employee. While most employees are covered by New York workers' compensation laws, not every employee is. For example, according to the New York Workers' Compensation Board some of the types of employees not covered include volunteers for nonprofit organizations, certain New York City employees such as police officers, certain real estate salespeople, and domestic workers who work less than 40 hours per week.
  • Employers who must carry workers' compensation insurance. Generally speaking only businesses who have no employees are not required to carry workers' compensation insurance. If an employer is required to carry insurance, but does not and an employee gets hurt, the employee may have the right to file a lawsuit against the employer to demand compensation.
Common types of workplace accidents

Here are just a few examples of the common causes of workplace accidents:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Car, truck or motorcycle accidents
  • Exposure to hazardous substances
  • Injury from faulty, defective, or dangerous equipment
  • Violence on the job
Pursuing workers' compensation benefits

Generally speaking if you are injured in an accident because of another person's negligence you would file a personal injury claim against that person. The procedure is very different with a workplace injury. If you are injured at work and the injury is covered by workers' compensation, in order to receive the benefits you must follow the specific workers' compensation claim procedures

  • Cash benefit. Workers' compensation pays cash benefits and medical benefits. The amount of you cash benefits depends on the amount of your hourly wage or annual salary. Your workers' compensation cash benefit will be 2/3 x average weekly wage x % of disability. There is a cap on the amount of workers' compensation benefit that an injured employee can receive. The cap is periodically adjusted.
  • Medical benefits. The injured employee will receive medical treatment for the injury. The treating medical provider must be authorized by the Workers' Compensation Board.
  • Social security benefits. If your injury is expected to last for more than 12 months or is expected to be permanent, you will be eligible for Social Security Benefits.
  • Death benefits. The spouse, minor children, and eligible dependents of a worker who passes away as a result of a workplace injury or illness is entitled to weekly cash benefits. Death benefits also includes a lump sum amount for funeral expenses.

Because worker's compensation is the exclusive benefit, injured workers do not have the legal right to also file a personal injury lawsuit against employers. There are a few exceptions. If the employer does not carry worker's compensation insurance, the injured worker may have the right to sue. If the workplace injury was caused by a defective product, the manufacturer of the product may be liable. If the employer intentionally injured the worker, than the worker would have the right to sue. If the workplace accident was due to the negligence not of your employer, but due to the negligence of a third party, you may be able to sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The moments immediately after a workplace injury, particularly a serious injury may be confusing. However, it is important that the proper steps are taken to preserve your rights under New Yorker workers' compensation law. It is therefore critical for you to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can discuss the facts of your case with you and determine a course of action that will give you the best possible result. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has experience handling workplace injury cases and workers' compensation claims. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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