Workman’s compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that was designed to make sure that employers provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits are available not only to employees who are injured in a workplace accident such as a construction accident, but are also available to employees who become ill because of workplace conditions. For example, Antonio Hroncich, a long term employee of Consolidated Edison, was diagnosed with asbestosis and asbestos-related pleural disease resulting from his employment at the Consolidated Edison Company. Hroncich v. Edison, 975 N.Y.S.2d 714 (N.Y., 2013). 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 Bronx Workman’s 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
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.Causes of Workplace Accidents and Injuries
There are many types of workplace accidents that could lead to serious injuries, such as slip and fall accidents, vehicle accidents, exposure to asbestos and other hazardous substances, and accidents involving faulty, defective or dangerous equipment. In addition, some workplace injuries occur over time. Such injuries are sometimes referred to as repetitive stress injuries, continuous trauma injuries or occupational overuse injuries. Work-relative activities that can lead to repetitive stress injuries include assembly line work, jackhammering, sawing and cutting, writing, driving, stocking shelves, and massaging clients.Pursuing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
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.
It is important to understand that just because you were injured at work does not mean that your employer will immediately approve workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, your employer may challenge your eligibility for benefits.Bronx Workman’s Compensation Lawyer
Even though the law gives employees the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured at work, there are rules and procedures that must be followed in order to receive such benefit. It is therefore critical for you to contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney who will review your case and determine a course of action that will give you the best possible result. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC has experience handling workplace injury cases and workers' compensation claims as well as helping clients pursue social security disability benefits. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.