The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2015 there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported. These reports came from private industry employers. Thankfully, this reflects a trend of declining rates of injuries and illness at work over the past 13 years, with 2012 the only year with a slight increase. However, if you are one of the unlucky ones who were injured on the job in or around Auburn or Syracuse, NY, you may be hearing more about something called Workers Compensation.
Workers Compensation is the oldest social insurance program in the country, and has been around since the 1920’s. Essentially, workers compensation provides employees the right to expect swift and adequate medical treatment for any injury or illness that occurs on the job. It does not matter whether or not the employee or employer is responsible for the injury or illness. In exchange for this basic entitlement, the worker gives up the right to sue the company for the illness or injury.
All employers in New York are required to carry workers compensation insurance, with severely limited exceptions. This law pertains to employers with one employee or thousands. The employer must pay your workers compensation benefits if you have an injury at work or you get sick because of the job you perform.
Your Benefits Under Workers Compensation
When you are injured at work or you become ill because of your job you are entitled to some standard benefits. Medical care is the main benefit. You also have the right to temporary disability benefits if necessary. If your injury or illness prevents you from working at all, you also have the right to receive permanent disability benefits.
Other benefits you can receive are supplemental job displacement benefits and a return-to-work supplement. Death benefits are included as part of workers compensation insurance as well.
New York law is designed to protect workers who are injured at work. Your employer should have workers compensation insurance to help pay for any medical expenses you incur as a result of the injury. Workers compensation also pays a portion of your wages while you are in recovery. When you return to work, it helps cover the expenses you may have going back to work.
When you have been injured on the job it is important to report it. Tell your supervisor as soon as you can. Some work-related injuries may develop over time. Others happen immediately when there is an accident. When you know your injury is due to a work-related factor, regardless if it is immediate or you find out that it’s been an ongoing development, report the injury. This will help you get access to your benefits sooner, and it will help prevent delays and other problems in the process. If you delay in reporting the injury, it could result in loss of benefits. You must report it within 30 days, otherwise you may not be able to access your benefits.
If you need emergency treatment for your job-related injury, call 911 or get to an emergency room. Let the hospital staff know that you got this injury at work. Make sure your employer is contacted in the event there are more instructions you need to follow.
There are times when a worker is injured because the employer has not kept equipment or the workplace up to established codes. If you feel that you had an injury at work because of your employer’s negligence or violation of safety codes, consulting with a lawyer versed in workers compensation in Auburn and Syracuse may offer some alternative solutions to your situation. In addition, it is in your best interests not to sign anything before consulting with an attorney familiar with workers compensation.
The workers compensation lawyers at Littman & Babiarz have over 30 years of experience serving the workers of Auburn, Syracuse, Ithaca and Elmira. Our team of seasoned attorneys will explain the workers compensation rights and benefits to you, as well as handle all necessary communications with the opposing attorneys and the courts.
If you feel you have been wrongfully harmed on the job, call 607-277-7527 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We will be happy to answer your questions and consult with you about your options. Workers compensation laws provide protection for workers who sustain injury or illness while on the job. Let the attorneys of Littman & Babiarz help you gain the compensation you rightfully deserve.