The Reinartz Law Firm, LLC.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers compensation benefits are a form of insurance that is paid to employees by their employer for injuries sustained on the job. The state of New York requires all businesses, corporations and other for-profit organizations to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
This insurance is established in order to cover medical costs and other financial support to employees who suffer serious injury on the job. If an employer is found in violation of this requirement to provide workers’ compensation insurance, the employer can be charged with hefty fines of $250 to $5000 or more by the state.
Who can receive workers’ compensation benefits?
Any employee who is injured on the job is eligible to receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other costs related to their injury. The injured worker must file a report with their employer, outlining their injuries and requesting workers’ compensation benefits. The employer must verify that the injuries were, in fact, sustained on the job, at which point the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will submit the request for reimbursement to the employee.
Any injury sustained in the workplace or on the job, if required to travel, is eligible for compensation. The only clear exceptions are if the employee is impaired due to drug or alcohol use, or if the employee purposely intended to do harm to themselves or a fellow worker.
Can my employer dispute my workers’ compensation claim?
While the majority of workers’ compensation claims are readily verified and reimbursed by employers and their insurance carriers, some are either denied based on a dispute over credibility, or are underpaid to the employee.
In order for the workers’ compensation insurance provider to pay on a claim, the employer must verify and agree that the injuries were caused on the job or on a job-related outing. When this agreement does not come, you may seek court intervention.
An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can mean the difference between full compensation for all costs versus only partial or no compensation benefits. The Reinartz Law Firm is a skilled New York law firm, who has successfully resolved many workers compensation claims.
If you believe you are due more in workers’ compensation benefits than you are receiving, don’t hesitate to call us for a free consultation of your case to see if you should pursue legal action. Likewise, if your workers’ compensation benefits were denied for any reason, our firm can look into your case to determine how best to proceed to get you the compensation you deserve.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Many people assume that workers’ compensation only covers medical bills related to physical injuries suffered in jobs requiring physical labor. That is only a very small portion of what workers’ compensation benefits do. There are no limitations to the type of job you must have in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Likewise, these benefits are provided to reimburse for more than just medical bills. Lost wages, rehabilitation and other related claims may also be eligible for workers’ compensation reimbursement.
The most obvious use of workers’ compensation insurance is to cover the costs of all medical bills related to your workplace injury. Any ambulance fees, hospital bills, doctor visits, pharmaceutical bills, testing, blood work or follow-up visits are included in what you can claim under workers’ compensation coverage. Additionally, any fees associated with rehabilitation or physical therapy are also covered to ensure full recovery of physical health where possible.
Lost wages for missed work
Workers’ compensation is also designed to pay employees the equivalent of any wages that were lost due to absence caused by your injuries. If you were unable to return to work for three weeks while hospitalized and being treated, the benefits should pay you what you would have normally earned during those three weeks. Also covered are wages you may lose due to continuing therapy or rehabilitation for your injuries.
Lost wages for future work
If your injuries are permanent or will have extended recovery time, workers’ compensation benefits can also set up payments for future wages that will be lost due to injury. A calculation is used to determine the number of pay periods you will be out of work and will pay a certain percentage of your salary based on current New York wage scales.
If your physical abilities are impaired, leaving you with only partial recovery options, a calculation using the percentage of diminished capacity times the number of future pay periods you would be impacted to determine your possibly compensation benefits.
What types of injuries are included in workers’ compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is not limited to manual labor occupations or job requiring heavy machinery. New York state law requires every employer to offer workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the work required.
Whether your injury stemmed from a one-time mishap or was the result of repetitive use, workers’ compensation should apply. One-time office injuries from falls, or tripping over office furniture, items falling from high shelves, stapler, copier or other office machines malfunctioning or any other office-related injuries are applicable.
Likewise, limitations from long-term use or exposure are covered by workers’ compensation, too. Carpel tunnel syndrome, which results from repetitive use by typists, manicurists and other professions has been covered in many successful workers’ compensation claims.
If you work on a construction site, or your work requires you to visit construction sites, any injury that occurs there could be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This would include those who operate heavy machinery who suffer accidents, machinery malfunction or other serious injuries.
If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you could be eligible for long-term benefits to cover lost wages for work you are no longer physically able to perform.
Electricians, builders, utility workers and those in the technical industry are at risk from electrocution or electric shock injuries. These types of injuries could be temporary or permanent and can include lasting effects on both bodily functions as well as brain function.
Any injury, whether temporary or permanent, caused by electrocution on the job is likely covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Many jobs expose workers to toxic substances. While some are known and can be recognized and treated promptly, others are from hidden toxins that aren’t detected until years after the exposure.
Depending on the levels of toxicity and the length of exposure, the effects to your health can be catastrophic or even deadly. Employers are required to offer compensation to those whose health has suffered due to toxic exposure on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits should pay for all related medical bills and lost wages due to the adverse effects of toxic exposure on the job.
If a loved one has lost their life due to any type of workplace accident or exposure, their dependents could receive death benefits paid out through workers’ compensation. Claims at this level almost always have to go through the legal process with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney to be divided among the recipients of the deceased’s estate.
Do i give up my rights by accepting workers’ compensation?
By accepting workers’ compensation benefits, employees are agreeing to give up their right to sue their employer for negligence in relation to their injuries. The very purpose of legally-mandated workers’ insurance is to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against employers.
When an employee accepts workers’ compensation benefits, they are receiving funds from a no-fault insurance fund. This means that both parties accept the no-fault claim and cannot, in turn sue one another.
The legal ramifications of this limitation are important and should be thoroughly discussed with an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney. The skilled lawyers at the Reinartz Law Firm can go over the specifics of your case with you so you are aware of your rights if you accept compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Reinartz Law Firm Today
We understand how confusing it can be to try to ascertain how much workers’ compensation you should receive, how to go about completing your claim, or how to decide if you should retain your legal right to sue instead.
The law is black and white, but each work-related injury comes with too many variables to count. At the Reinartz Law Firm, we will meet with you to help you understand every possible course of action. We want to answer all of your questions so there are no surprises.
Your recovery is the toughest obstacle for you at this difficult time. Allow us to take the lead on your workers’ compensation claim paperwork so you can focus on healing. Our goal is to get you the highest possible amount in order to alleviate any financial stress.
We take pride in our personal, yet professional care of our clients. We can come to you in the hospital if necessary to go over your case and will even help you navigate through the confusion of the forms and paperwork. Please call us today so we can begin the work of getting you the compensation you deserve.