What Injuries Qualify for Workers Compensation Coverage in New York?
Accidents are an inevitable part of life. All too easily, attempting to lift something too heavy, slipping on a wet floor, or slicing fingers on a piece of machinery can change a person’s ability to earn money at work. In some cases, chronic diseases, illnesses, deafness, or disabling injuries can hurt a worker’s livelihood permanently. Whether an employee endures seemingly minor injuries like muscle strains, sprains, and lacerations, or major injuries like head trauma, bone fractures, and slipped discs, New York State Workers Compensation should be available. Each year, between 2,300 and 2,800 workers’ compensation claims are paid out in New York State.
Unfortunately, collecting on workers comp injuries isn’t always a piece of cake. When you’re injured, the last thing you want to worry about is filing paperwork on time, countering disagreements with your employer, or haggling over how much compensation is rightfully owed to you. It costs nothing to speak with a New York workers compensation attorney from Aronova & Associates about your claim, so contact us sooner rather than later to have an advocate looking out for your best interests.
What is Considered a Workers Compensation Injury?
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board defines workers comp as “insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job.” All employers are required to pay for workers compensation insurance and all employees are eligible to collect, regardless of how long they’ve worked for a particular company. In cases where the injury or illness is disputed, the Workers’ Compensation Board and a judge may intervene to resolve the difference of opinion. Disability benefits may be paid under a separate claim regardless of whether the injury occurred at work or not. Receiving disability benefits may reduce the amount paid by workers comp, which is designed to provide for injured workers while they are recovering and discourage lawsuits.
Top 10 Workers Comp Injuries in New York State
- Overexertion injuries from excessive lifting, pulling, bending, carrying, throwing, pushing, or straining.
- Workplace slips and trips, including wet floors, snowy parking lots, turned up carpets, and unresolved spills.
- Falling from heights, due to faulty equipment, lax safety oversight, improper training, or haste.
- Muscle strain and body trauma in response to becoming startled or attempting to avoid further injury.
- Being struck by falling objects while in the absence of proper safety gear like steel toe boots or helmets.
- Head, knee, neck, and foot injuries caused by walking into a fixed object in a hazardous work environment.
- Motor vehicle accidents in company vehicles on company time, while often distracted or improperly trained.
- Crushing or scalping injuries when clothing, jewelry, or hair gets pulled into heavy duty machinery.
- Minor repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome resulting from continuous actions on the job.
- Violent acts committed by angry coworkers who resort to assault and battery to resolve frustration.
What is NOT a Workers Comp Injury?
Some confusion exists as to whether or not a particular injury is worthy of filing for workers compensation.
- Minor Injuries: If a first-aid kit can resolve your injury, then it’s not likely enough to warrant a compensation claim. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, small puncture wounds, and headaches are not sufficient grounds for workers comp in New York State. If, however, you have a cut that will not stop bleeding that requires stitches or you are exposed to a chemical that causes persistent headaches that prevent you from being able to work, then you may be able to file a valid claim.
- Commuter Injuries: Commuting is not considered part of your employment experience. If you are injured during a commute, it is up to you to cover your own medical bills, though you may be eligible for some other form of disability. On the other hand, if you are driving a company vehicle and you are “on the clock,” you are entitled to file a workers comp injury claim. Accidents that occur in the company parking lot are typically covered.
- Improper Activities: While workers compensation is largely viewed as a “no-fault system,” there are some limits. Workers who engage in horseplay, abuse drugs or alcohol while at work, intentional misuse of company equipment, or provoke fights are typically ineligible to receive workers compensation for injuries stemming from their unruly behavior.
- Work-Related Stress: It’s safe to say most New Yorkers experience some form of stress in the workplace. However, doctors may assist patients in substantiating a claim for psychiatric injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or severe anxiety that is directly related to a singular event that happened at work.
- Injuries Outside the Statute of Limitations: New York State has established certain deadlines pertaining to filing a workers’ comp claim. For most acute injuries, you have up to 30 days to file. Occupational hearing loss claims allow for a three-month filing period. Occupational disease claims must be filed within two years of disability, or within two years of the time the worker knew/should’ve reasonably known work caused his or her disease.
Talk to Aronova & Associates about Your Work-Related Injury
Since it is free to have your case reviewed by a NY workers comp attorney, there is no harm in contacting Aronova Associates if you have any questions about your legal right to file a claim. As New York is a multicultural state, we offer expert legal representation in Spanish, Creole, French, Russian, and Greek, as well as English. Why risk a lengthy appeals process when you might be able to get paid much sooner? We’ve worked within the New York State administrative and court systems for more than 10 years and we know what it takes to secure maximum compensation for injured workers, no matter what obstacles arise.
Additional Workers’ Compensation Injuries Resources
- Nulty Insurance – 10 Common Workers Compensation Claims, https://www.nulty.com/uncategorized/10-common-workers-compensation-claims/
- NOLO – What Injuries Aren’t Covered By Workers Comp? https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/what-injuries-arent-covered-workers-comp.htm
- Workers’ Compensation Board – Intro To Workers’ Compensation Law, http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/onthejob/WCLawIntro.jsp