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Suffolk County Workers' Compensation

Every employee in Suffolk County has the right to a safe workplace. In fact, there are New York State and federal regulations designed to help ensure the safety of workers in workplaces. Despite such rules, workplace injuries are quite common. To make sure that employees receive medical benefits and other compensation when injured at work, New York established a workers' compensation system that provides benefits to employees injured at work regardless of fault. In many cases workplace injuries occur due to a slip and fall accident, being hit by flying debris in a construction accident, or in an auto accident when the employee is driving a vehicle to perform his or her work responsibilities. However, to be eligible for workers' compensation benefits it is not necessary that the injury was caused by a sudden accident such as a fall or an auto accident. Some workplace injuries are caused by repeated physical motions such as a back injury caused by repeatedly lifting heavy boxes, or a respiratory condition from inhaling airborne chemicals over a period of time. While the law gives employees the right to receive benefits under workers' compensation, receiving such benefits can become complicated. Furthermore, injured employees may be entitled to receive compensation beyond what is available through workers' compensation. If you were injured at work, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Suffolk County 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

Sometimes referred to as workman's compensation, New York's workers' compensation laws state that injured parties are entitled to compensation if they sustain a work-related injury. Compensation often comes in the form of medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of ability to earn, and more. New York's workers' compensation laws are generally tailored to benefit employers by lessening their liabilities for work-related injuries sustained by employees. These laws work as an agreement between the worker and the employer – in exchange for giving up the right to sue when it comes to workplace injuries, employees are given the opportunity to receive compensation for medical expenses, professional rehab, and lost income.

Examples of common types of workplace accidents include:

  • 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 damages

Under New York law workers' compensation benefits are the "exclusive remedy" for an injured employee. This means that an injured employee is entitled only to workers' compensation benefits and is generally barred from attempting to collect additional compensation through a common law personal injury lawsuit. The practical effect of this provision is that it limits the amount of money that an injured worker would be able to recover to whatever workers' compensation provides, which is likely significantly less than what a victim might be able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a worker wins a personal injury lawsuit, the worker could be awarded medical bills, disability benefits, job replacement benefits or wrongful death benefits. The worker may also be awarded additional compensation including damages for pain and suffering.

However, despite the exclusive remedy provision, injured employees do not always have to settle for only benefits from workers' compensation insurance. It depends on the type of accident that led to the injury and who was negligent. For example, if a workplace injury was caused by a defective product, the manufacturer of the product may be liable. The injured worker may then be able to receive workers' compensation benefits and also file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product to recover additional damages. 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. To fully understand the possible options for pursuing compensation, discuss your case with a workers' compensation attorney in Suffolk County.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Just because you have been injured at work does not mean the receiving workers' compensation benefits will be easy or automatic. There are rules and procedures that must be followed in order to receive such benefit. In addition, there are steps that your employer may take to delay your benefits, withhold benefits or minimize benefits. It is therefore vital for you to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney serving Suffolk County who will review the details of your case 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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