If I Get Injured at Work, Do I Get Paid? Understanding Work-Related Injury Claims

if i get injured at work do i get paid

Suffering an injury on the job raises so many questions – primarily, how am I going to get paid and make ends meet during my recovery? As an employee in New York, you have legal rights to wage loss benefits and other compensation after a workplace accident. But actually, obtaining those payments can turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful.

At Held, Held & Held, we understand the stress you’re under dealing with an injury, missing work, medical bills, and an uncertain income stream. That’s why our workers’ compensation attorneys take quick action to ensure you start receiving the wage replacement, medical cost coverage, and any other benefits your claim qualifies for.

We know the laws inside and out to fight for the maximum payments owed. Don’t let the system take advantage of you during this vulnerable time. With our experience handling the legal complexities, you can focus on what truly matters – your physical recovery.

Common Work Injuries and Illnesses That Qualify for Compensation

From sudden accidents like falls, machinery incidents, or vehicle crashes to occupational diseases like respiratory illnesses, or repetitive strain injuries – if it happened on the job, you may have a valid claim.

New York workers’ compensation laws cover most private and public employees, with some exceptions for specific industries. Even if your line of work seems low-risk, data shows that no workplace is immune from potential hazards.

Some common injuries and illnesses that may qualify for compensation include:

  • Slip, trip, and fall injuries
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Repetitive stress injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel)
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions and head injuries
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Occupational illnesses (e.g. mesothelioma, lead poisoning)
  • Preexisting conditions aggravated by job duties

Don’t dismiss your condition or assume it doesn’t qualify for wage loss and medical benefits. Our team can evaluate your situation for free with no obligation to determine your eligibility.

Steps to Take If You Get Hurt at Work

To protect your rights and not leave any money on the table, it’s crucial to follow the appropriate steps from the very start. At Held, Held & Held, we guide injured workers through this process, making sure they check all the necessary boxes:

  1. Report the injury right away. Notify your supervisor or employer’s workers’ comp administrator about your work-related accident or illness as soon as possible, following all required reporting procedures. Meeting deadlines here is crucial.
  2. Seek proper medical treatment. See a doctor approved by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier. Follow all recommended treatment plans and keep detailed records.
  3. File a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer should provide you with the necessary claim forms, which need to get submitted along with supporting medical documentation. An attorney can help ensure your claim is properly filed.
  4. Consider an appeal if denied. If your workers’ comp claim gets denied or you disagree with the benefit amount, you have rights to file an appeal, ideally with an attorney’s assistance.
  5. Never accept delayed or lowball payments. Insurance companies may try to delay, underpay or terminate benefits too soon. Fighting this takes legal expertise.

By taking these steps, especially involving legal counsel early, you protect your rights and increase the chances of getting paid the full workers’ comp benefits you deserve.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits You May Be Entitled To

While no amount of money can undo your injury, workers’ comp aims to make you “whole” again financially.

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may receive benefits covering:

  • All related medical costs (hospitalizations, surgeries, prescriptions, etc.)
  • A percentage of lost wages from temporary or permanent disability
  • Travel expenses for treatments
  • Job retraining if you cannot return to your previous role

These benefits aren’t just a goodwill gesture – they’re your legal rights as an injured worker enshrined in the New York Workers’ Compensation Law.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Now for the tricky part – how much compensation will you actually receive? The calculations get rather formulaic, especially when considering factors like:

  • Your pre-injury average weekly wage
  • The degree of disability (temporary, permanent partial, or permanent total)
  • Maximum compensation rates set by New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board

For example, the maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability is just above $1,100. But don’t get bogged down in numbers yet – understanding the nuances is where a workers’ comp professional can help you.

You may also undergo an independent medical examination to assess the extent of your disability and ensure you receive fair compensation.

Returning to Work After an Injury or Illness

For many, the workers’ compensation process doesn’t end with payments and medical care. Your eventual goal is to regain stability and normalcy in your career.

Fortunately, the law protects your rights in this phase, too:

  • Your employer must offer a light-duty or alternative position within your capabilities.
  • They must provide reasonable accommodations to allow you to perform your job.
  • If you cannot return to your previous role, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services to prepare you for a job transition.

Through it all, you should feel empowered. The law expressly prohibits employers from punishing or terminating you simply for using your rightful workers’ comp benefits – a form of retaliation that can spur additional legal action.

When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

While the workers’ comp process seems straightforward in theory, we know reality often contradicts expectations.

You may hit roadblocks like:

  • Having your claim denied, delayed, or prematurely terminated
  • Disputes over the percentage of disability or compensation amount
  • Conflicts with the insurance company over medical treatments
  • Employers refusing to accommodate your injuries or creating a hostile environment

In these scenarios, a workers’ comp attorney becomes an invaluable asset and advocate in your corner. Their experience can cut through the bureaucracy, provide strategic counsel, and forcefully assert your rights at hearings and appeals.

Another reason to have legal representation? Identifying if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against a “third party” separate from your employer – like a property owner, equipment manufacturer, or other negligent entity. This allows you to pursue additional compensation beyond workers’ comp limits.

New York Workers’ Compensation Attorneys: Your Advocates for Benefits and Recovery

If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury or illness in New York, don’t go it alone. Our seasoned workers’ compensation team at Held, Held & Held can guide you through every stage – from initial filings and appeals to facilitating your safe return to work.

Our experience with New York’s workers’ compensation laws allows us to capably assert your rights while maximizing the benefits you deserve. We’ll handle the legal heavy-lifting so you can focus on healing and recovery.

Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today. Together, we’ll navigate this challenging chapter and emerge victorious on the other side.

Author Bio

Edward Held is the founding member of Held, Held & Held, a family-owned multi-practice law firm in Brooklyn, NY. With more than 40 years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including personal injury, real estate, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and estate law.

Edward received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School and is a former President of the New York Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has been admitted into the Supreme Court of the United States and the New York State Courts.

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